Lawmakers reject Trump claim that records confirm misconduct

Mark Wilson  Getty Images FILE

Mark Wilson Getty Images FILE

Sen. Marco Rubio is refuting President Trump's latest claims that his campaign was being "illegally" spied on following the FBI's release of heavily redacted documents detailing the surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

"There was a lot of reasons unrelated to the dossier why they wanted to look at Carter Page".

The secretive court signed off on surveilling Page.

The warrants describe a trip Page took to Russian Federation in 2016 to speak at the New Economic School. Page has vehemently denied the dossier's allegations, and says he has never spoken to Manafort.

In April, the DOJ said they were "processing for potential redaction and release certain [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] materials related to Carter Page", after watchdog group Judicial Watch and several other organizations filed similar lawsuits. The application goes on to accuse Page of "collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government".

"President Putin says it's not Russian Federation".

The FBI cites "Source #1" for that information; that refers to former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele.

"House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Saturday that 'these documents provide clear evidence of 'Russia's coordination with Carter Page, ' a high-ranking Trump campaign official, 'to undermine and improperly and illegally influence the 2016 US presidential election". The document adds that "The FBI speculates that the identified United States person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit [Trump's] campaign".

In his tweets, Mr Trump also took aim at defeated Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, her party's governing body. The FBI warrants note that Steele released his findings to U.S. news organizations over admonishment of the FBI, and as a result, the bureau ended its relationship with him.

But lawmakers from both political parties said that the documents don't show wrongdoing and that they even appear to undermine some previous claims by top Republicans on the basis for obtaining a warrant against Page.

In a subsequent message, Trump suggested his 2016 presidential campaign has been under unlawful surveillance orchestrated by his Democratic contender.

But Trump's tweets did not address the fact that the FISA application revealed its sourcing at length and was approved by a judge, before being renewed three more times by three other judges.

"You have an individual here who has openly bragged about his ties to Russia and Russians and he's never - I don't think Carter Page has ever said he's a spy, but he has certainly talked about it", Rubio said.

When Tapper pointed out that Page called himself an "informal adviser" to the Kremlin in a 2013 letter, Page attempted to turn the conversation into a blame game aimed squarely at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mueller's Special Counsel.

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