Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump claims his campaign was illegally spied upon

Trump claims his campaign was illegally spied upon

"The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.to undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election in violation of USA criminal law", the documents say. "An illegal Scam!" Trump's follow up tweet on Sunday morning said.

The documents had remained out of public view until Saturday, when they were released under the Freedom of Information Act.

"I think that's different from spying on a campaign, in fact, that the Trump campaign has said on numerous occasions that Carter Page was not a major player in their campaign", Rubio said.

"For more than a year, House Republicans have bullied the Department of Justice and FBI to release highly sensitive documents to derail the Special Counsel's and other legitimate national security investigations and cover for the President", House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

"The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government", the initial FBI application says before it is blacked out and continues: "undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in violation of United States criminal law".

Page is alleged in the documents to have had "established relationships with Russian Government officials, including Russian intelligence officers".

The documents released on Saturday by the FBI included surveillance applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and warrants surrounding the investigation into Page.

The FBI, in its initial application the month before Trump won the election, said it "believes that the Russian Government's efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with Candidate #1's campaign".

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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.

He said: "You talk about misleading the courts, it's just so misleading". On Sunday he minimized that work, saying "I might have participated in a few meetings that a lot of people including people in the Obama administration were sitting on" but said "there was nothing in terms of any nefarious behavior".

By March 2016, Mr Trump had identified Mr Page as one of a handful of campaign foreign policy advisers.

President Donald Trump on Sunday baselessly asserted that the newly-released, highly-redacted Federal Bureau of Investigation application to surveil a former campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, "confirm [s] with little doubt that the Department of "Justice" and Federal Bureau of Investigation misled the courts".

She added: "The GOP [Republican Party] must cease their attacks on our law enforcement and intelligence communities, and finally decide where their loyalty lies".

"Witch Hunt Rigged, a Scam!"

Mr. Page "has been collaborating with the Russian government", the warrant says.

So far, the inquiry has indicted 32 people - mostly Russian nationals in absentia, but also three companies and four former Trump advisers. Page allegedly met with Igor Sechin, President of Rosneft and close to Putin. "I don't see any reason why it would be", he replied, appearing to back the Russians over his own agencies.

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