Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Trump claims Federal Bureau of Investigation used 'Dirty Dossier' as excuse to monitor Carter Page

Trump claims Federal Bureau of Investigation used 'Dirty Dossier' as excuse to monitor Carter Page Trump claims Federal Bureau of Investigation used 'Dirty Dossier' as excuse to monitor Carter Page
Steven Clarke | 25 July, 2018, 03:51

The Justice Department alleges in the documents that the former adviser "has established relationships with Russian government officials, including Russian intelligence officers" and that the "FBI believes the Russian government's efforts to influence the 2016 USA presidential election were being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [Trump's] campaign". Page is known to have been one of its targets. Australian officials relayed this information to their American counterparts.

Republicans have contended that the Federal Bureau of Investigation made serious missteps when it sought a warrant to monitor Mr Page in October 2016 shortly after he left the Trump campaign.

"It's time to abolish the FISA court".

Trump went on to allege in a second tweet that his campaign was potentially being "illegally" surveilled for "the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC". Despite that fact, investigators said they believed - based on previous interactions with Steele - that his report was credible.

Republicans and Trump allies have attacked the Steele dossier, saying it had been financed by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Trump has come under a barrage of criticism over the past week for what was seen as overly conciliatory treatment of Russian President Vladimir Putin at their summit in Helsinki. Its release marks the first time a FISA application for surveillance has been released, the Washington Post noted, and such documents are considered to be highly classified.

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Page's denial on Sunday (Monday NZT) was his first public response to the release on Saturday of a wiretap application that said he engaged in "clandestine intelligence activities" on behalf of Russian Federation. "Carter Page was just the foot to surveil the Trump campaign".

The application dovetails with the Democrats' account. The article is described in a section that discusses how the allegations about Page became public, prompting him to deny them but still leave the Trump campaign as it distanced itself from him.

In a series of tweets, most of which are quotes from Tom Fitton of the Judicial Watch, Trump suggests the "unverified and Fake Dirty Dossier" was the sole reason a FISA court approved surveillance of Page. White House officials have argued that Page, announced by the president in early 2016 as a foreign policy adviser, played only a minor role in the Trump campaign.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the documents "affirm that our nation faced a profound counterintelligence threat prior to the 2016 election" and that authorities "took appropriate steps". He said the materials put the "conspiracy theories to rest", while criticizing Trump's decision to declassify their existence during a pending investigation. Outlets speculated it could be the Russian meddling, or it could have something to do with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

He added: "To call me an advisor, I think is way over the top", before host Jake Tapper interjected to cite a 2013 letter in which Page called himself "an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin".

It's another flashpoint in the ongoing discussion over Russian interference in the 2016 election and cloud of possible collusion that hangs over the Trump administration.

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