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responded to diplomatic outreach efforts from senior government officials in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, [and] the Americas." Page received no response from the Transition Team. When Page took a personal trip to Moscow in December 2016, he met again with at least one Russian government official. That interaction and a discussion of the December trip are set forth in Volume I, Section IV.B.6, infra.
Members of the Trump Campaign interacted on several occasions with the Center for the National Interest (CNI), principally through its President and Chief Executive Officer, Dimitri Simes. CNI is a think tank with expertise in and connections to the Russian government. Simes was born in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. In April 2016, candidate Trump delivered his first speech on foreign policy and national security at an event hosted by the National Interest, a publication affiliated with CNI. Then-Senator Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Kislyak both attended the event and, as a result, it gained some attention in relation to Sessions's confirmation hearings to become Attorney General. Sessions had various other contacts with CNI during the campaign period on foreign-policy matters, including Russia. Jared Kushner also interacted with Simes about Russian issues during the campaign. The investigation did not identify evidence that the Campaign passed or received any messages to or from the Russian government through CNI or Simes.
- a. CNI and Dimitri Simes Connect with the Trump Campaign
CNI is a Washington-based non-profit organization that grew out of a center founded by former President Richard Nixon. CNI describes itself "as a voice for strategic realism in U.S. foreign policy," and publishes a bi-monthly foreign policy magazine, the National Interest. CNI is overseen by a board of directors and an advisory council that is largely honorary and whose members at the relevant time included Sessions, who served as an advisor to candidate Trump on national security and foreign policy issues.
Dimitri Simes is president and CEO of CNI and the publisher and CEO of the National Interest. Simes was born in the former Soviet Union, emigrated to the United States in the early 1970s, and joined CNI's predecessor after working at the Carnegie Endowment for International
- , "Transition Online Form," 11/14/16
- Simes 3/8/18 302, at 1–2.
- About the Center, CNI, available at https://cftni.org/about/.
- Advisory Counsel, CNI, available at https://web.archive.org/web/20161030025331/http://cftni.org/about/advisory-council/; Simes 3/8/18 302, at 3–4; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 4; Sessions 1/17/18 302, at 16.
- Simes 3/8/18 302, at 2.