Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, on Sunday disputed Federal Bureau of Investigation claims about his links to Russian government officials, but CNN host Jake Tapper noted during an interview that Page previously had termed himself "an informal adviser" to the Kremlin.
The Department of Justice late Friday released via the FBI's FOIA Vault a redacted copy of the Carter Page FISA warrant application and several renewals, which accuse Page of being a Russian spy, as summarized by the New York Times - which obtained a copy of the materials through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.
"I've never been an agent of a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination", Page told CNN.
Steele's intelligence connections in Moscow and Washington, D.C. and his bitter antipathy made him an ideal resource for anybody searching for negative opposition research on Trump.
Congratulations to @JudicialWatch and @TomFitton on being successful in getting the Carter Page FISA documents.
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Steele also alleged in the dossier that Page worked with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to exchange information with Russian operatives.
Of note, in the almost two years since the application was filed, Page hasn't been charged with any of the allegations contained within it.
"The FBI believes that the Russian Government's efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [Mr Trump's campaign]", the documents said.
In a subsequent message, Trump suggested his 2016 presidential campaign has been under unlawful surveillance orchestrated by his Democratic contender.
Following a May meeting between President Trump, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Inspector General Michael Horowitz investigated possible abuses in the Justice Department's surveillance activities during the 2016 presidential election.
However, when Tapper pressed him about his previous comments referring to himself as an informal adviser to the Kremlin, Page downplayed his earlier remarks, responding, "informal, having some conversations with people, I mean, this is really nothing and just an attempt to distract from the real crimes shown in this misleading document".
"I've never been anywhere near what's being described here" in the released documents, Page said.
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"Witch Hunt Rigged, a Scam!"
The non-redacted portions of the 400-page FISA document make serious claims about Page's ties to the Russian government.
"We have no idea what this president, our president, agreed to", Schiff said on ABC's This Week.
Page said the claim that Divyekin offered compromising material on Hillary Clinton was "preposterous".
Page accused law enforcement officials of fabricating information to strengthen their bid to monitor his communications.
"I have a different view on this issue than the President and the White House", he said.
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