Steven Schrage: Real "Smoking Gun" Is Why Stefan Halper and Christopher Steele Are Being Protected | Video | RealClearPolitics

Steven Schrage: Real "Smoking Gun" Is Why Stefan Halper and Christopher Steele Are Being Protected

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Maria Bartiromo sits down exclusively with Steven Schrage, who first connected Carter Page with FBI informant Stefan Halper in 2016, on 'Sunday Morning Futures.' Schrage said Halper used 'Washington Post' columnist David Ignatius as a source to leak to, that there was a coverup to protect then-President Obama and that he has spoken with U.S. Attorney John Durham's team.

Schrage said the real "smoking gun" is figuring out why Stefan Halper and Christopher Steele are being protected.

"The key part and I think the real smoking gun in all of this is, all these tentacles lead back to this small group, including Stefan Halper at the center of Spygate, Christopher Steele at the center of Russiagate, Stefan Halper's FBI handler," Schrage said.


"None of the Senate has subpoenaed these or called these people to talk in four years," he said. "I think that's the real smoking gun. How are these people being protected? And how are we at a point so close to the election, and with Flynn's hearing coming up, that no one has called these people and gotten to the bottom of this?"

MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX BUSINESS: It was the spark that ignited one of the worst abuses of power in our country's history. In July of 2016, Carter Page attended an overseas conference in Cambridge, where he first met informant Stefan Halper. Three months later, the FBI secured the first of four FISA warrants to unlawfully spy on Carter Page.

My next guest is the man who first introduced page to Halper while he was working as a Ph.D. candidate in Cambridge.

Steven Schrage is with us. He is joining me for the first ever television interview for him.

And good morning, Steven. Thank you so much for being here.

DR. STEVEN SCHRAGE, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Good morning. Glad to be here.

BARTIROMO: You worked for Stefan Halper. And we want to ask you, really, the background of 2016. So, let's start there.

What is your background in terms of working with Stefan Halper? And why did you invite Carter Page to a conference that you were planning?

SCHRAGE: Right.

I had had a long background working on crime and terrorism at the White House and Congress, and went to Cambridge to finish a Ph.D. I'd started years earlier at Harvard. And my intent was always to have a conference that looked at presidential campaigns and national security risks.

I had no idea that it would blow up into this. Halper was not that engaged, up until the point where he crossed paths with Page and Christopher Steele's former MI6 boss Richard -- Sir Richard Dearlove.

At that point, he seemed to really focus on Page, and really try to isolate him and kind of ingratiate himself with the Trump campaign in ways that seemed like a real turning point.

But how Page wound up there with Halper is really a comedy of errors. And it was something where we were looking for someone from the Trump campaign to make sure the Trump campaign was represented. And it just kind of happened to fall in his lap that Page landed there.

BARTIROMO: Well, why did you want someone from the Trump campaign?

SCHRAGE: Right.

BARTIROMO: Here, you have -- you wrote about these guys, and you call them the Cambridge four...

SCHRAGE: Right.

BARTIROMO: ... that they are washed-up spies.

Why are washed-up spies wanting to get in with the Trump campaign?

SCHRAGE: Well, for the conference, they were not involved in that decision at all.

The conference was because I came from a Republican background and I wanted an unbiased conference. I wanted to make sure, if we had Madeleine Albright on one side, we had a Trump representative on the other side.

I don't believe Stefan Halper even knew Carter Page was going to be at the conference until I e-mailed him. We had talked about people.

But what happened was, before the conference, if you look at it, a few weeks ago, Christopher Steele had been hired by a Clinton campaign contractor. And then the spark that I think really set this off was when Stefan Halper, Christopher Steele's old boss Richard Dearlove, and Page were all together.

And Trump was portrayed, to my surprise, as this national security threat. And that's when the interest really started to bubble in terms of where this took off.

BARTIROMO: So, let me go back to Stefan Halper for a minute.

SCHRAGE: Sure.

BARTIROMO: This is your Ph.D. supervisor.

SCHRAGE: Right.

BARTIROMO: The Office of Net Assessments awarded him four contracts between May of 2012 and September of 2016.

SCHRAGE: Right.

BARTIROMO: In September of '15, he was awarded a contract valued at $245,000 to study Russia and China.

Characterize that. Do -- are these the kind of money, these the kind of paychecks you get for doing a report on China and Russia? And isn't it interesting that, just months later, after he was awarded another contract of $411,000, then the wiretapping of Carter Page started?

SCHRAGE: Yes, I have never heard of that in an academic setting, providing that much compensation for these types of reports.

One thing I will say that was quite unusual was, even after Carter Page had been kind of smeared improperly as a -- quote, unquote -- "Russian spy," Stefan Halper would profusely thank me for introducing to him. And I never really understood that.

But once I saw these massive payments kind of corresponding to when he was surveilling Page and Papadopoulos, which I learned about in 2018, there was obviously -- could be a connection there. There's a theory about how that played out.

The key part and I think the real smoking gun in all of this is, all these tentacles lead back to this small group, including Stefan Halper at the center of Spygate, Christopher Steele at the center of Russiagate, Stefan Halper's FBI handler.

None of the Senate has subpoenaed these or called these people to talk in four years. I think that's the real smoking gun. How are these people being protected? And how are we at a point so close to the election, and with Flynn's hearing coming up, that no one has called these people and gotten to the bottom of this?

And the information I provide...

BARTIROMO: So, we have got...

SCHRAGE: ... provides a lot of troubling aspects of this.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

So, let's talk about that, because you actually recorded Stefan Halper. He was aware that you recorded him, because you used to do recordings.

But this is on January 10, 2017, two days before there was a leak in The Washington Post that General Flynn was going to be investigated about the Logan Act. And you recorded Stefan Halper talking about Flynn.

Let's roll that recording right now.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

STEFAN HALPER, FOREIGN POLICY SCHOLAR: If you go to the NSC, you have to - - you have to consider very carefully if you feel it's appropriate for you to work for Flynn...

SCHRAGE: Yes.

HALPER: ... or if you want to work with -- I don't think Flynn is going to be around long.

SCHRAGE: Yes.

HALPER: I mean, that's just my guess.

SCHRAGE: Right. Right.

HALPER: But the way the thing -- these things work, you inevitably find yourself at odds with someone.

SCHRAGE: Yes.

HALPER: I mean, you always do.

SCHRAGE: Yes. Yes.

HALPER: Probably lots of people.

SCHRAGE: Right.

HALPER: And when your opponent, so-called enemies, but what -- people who oppose you...

SCHRAGE: Right. Right. Right. Right.

HALPER: ... are looking for ways of exerting pressure, they go to people that they know you're at odds with.

SCHRAGE: Right. Right.

HALPER: And that's how it builds. And then, eventually, you get squeezed pretty hard.

SCHRAGE: Yes. And that was my kind of lesson too.

HALPER: But Flynn's reaction to that is to blow up and get angry.

SCHRAGE: Yes. Yes.

HALPER: He's really (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I mean, I don't where he goes from there.

SCHRAGE: Yes. Yes. Yes.

HALPER: But that is his reaction.

SCHRAGE: Right.

HALPER: That's why he's so unsuitable.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: So, what do you think was going on here, Steven?

Do you think Halper was working for the FBI or the CIA and getting paid by the Office of Net Assessment to dirty up Flynn and dirty up Trump campaign officials?

How did he know Flynn was about to blow up two days before it was in The Washington Post?

SCHRAGE: Right.

And some of this is things that I believe based on interacting with him for a long time, but they are beliefs.

It was very odd, because I had told him extensively that Flynn was incredibly close with President Trump. At the time, as it's been reported, the FBI was about ready to pull its investigation on January 4, before the Oval Office meeting was -- met where it was -- the Logan Act and Flynn was discussed.

So I don't think he had any independent reason to expect that this would happen to Flynn. He had also bragged to me and talked to others that David Ignatius was one of his big press media contacts.

So, again, it seems something that really needs to be investigated. One of his students was also working with Ignatius at The Post, Bob -- Robert Costa.

So, the fact that this has not been investigated, that no one has called them to testify and looked at this, I think, is as shocking as what's happened.

BARTIROMO: Well, what about you? You told me you spoke with John Durham. Somebody else told me that they thought you were disseminating the dossier. Are you involved in this?

SCHRAGE: No, I had no idea at all.

I mean, this has really upended my life. I was actually about to fly out for my wedding when the stories broke that my Ph.D. supervisor for a long time was this FBI spy known as the Walrus.

And since that time, I have tried to uncover that. I have worked with investigators to try to do this. But with this Flynn information I discovered a few weeks ago, and the fact these investigations have not moved so far, I felt I needed to come forward before the Flynn hearing.

BARTIROMO: So -- yes.

SCHRAGE: And, frankly, the fact that some people have been spreading rumors about other people leaking it, I think there were quite a few Republicans involved in leaking this that I have found out through these different processes that have not been revealed.

So, I think there's a lot of people trying to cover the tracks of what happened to start this thing. And I think that's why it's so critical that we get to the bottom of it.

BARTIROMO: And you did talk to John Durham, correct?

SCHRAGE: I did.

And I did tell him a couple weeks ago, I said, I'm happy to continue to help, but I need to go public, because I'm concerned about how long this is taking. This shouldn't be political about Democrats and Republicans. This is about officials undermining our democracy. And it needs to be known long before the election.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

Steven Schrage, we want you to come back. Hopefully, you will come back next week or the next couple of weeks to continue drilling down on this very important story.

SCHRAGE: Happy to.

BARTIROMO: Thank you, sir, very much.

SCHRAGE: Thank you. Thank you.
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