The shady dealings of Donald Trump associate Carter Page with Russian officials set off significant enough alarm bells in the US intelligence community that the Federal Bureau of Investigation sought and was granted permission from a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge to monitor the communications of the Trump adviser as far back as July 2016, the Washington Post reported Thursday evening.
Page has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in his dealings with the Trump campaign or Russian Federation, the newspaper reported.
By the time of the FISA order, Trump had access to a broader range of foreign policy experts, and it appears that, at this stage, Page's role in the campaign was insubstantial.
"This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance", Page told the Post on Tuesday. 'I have nothing to hide'.More news: Navy successfully test-fires land-attack BrahMos missile
But when asked if he'd met anyone in the Russian government or connected to Russian intelligence, Page admitted to saying "hello briefly" to one person who was a board member of a new economic school, where he gave his speech.
The Washington Post also cited the infamous "golden showers" dossier compiled by British spy Christopher Steele, which Page dismissed as "the dodgy dossier". And this warrant for access to Carter Page's communications is the first indication we have that, in fact, there was someone in the Trump orbit who was tied to the Russian government. Trump has also said he does not recall ever meeting Page, according to CNN. "If it is true or partially true, President Trump is confronted yet again third or fourth time in his presidency with intelligence leaks meant to embarrass, humiliate or manipulate him".
In recent interviews, Page described himself as a "junior member" of Trump's foreign policy team, and has denied working on any Russia-related policies for the campaign.
Asked Wednesday during an interview on the Fox Business Channel whether he would consider asking Comey to step down, Trump said: "I have confidence in him".More news: Trump signs law rolling back U.S. abortion clinics funding protection
The White House, FBI and Justice Department declined the Post's request for comment.
Page has been at the center of speculation about links between Trump aides and Russian Federation because of his ties to the country and a trip to Moscow in July.
Page, who cooperated with the FBI's investigation of the spies (one of whom, Evgeny Buryakov, was arrested, imprisoned and recently deported) told ABC News that any information he passed to the Russians was "immaterial". The uncorroborated dossier alleges that Page served as a liaison between the Trump campaign and Kremlin.
Page's relationship with Russian Federation began to draw scrutiny during the campaign after he visited Moscow in July 2016 for a speech at the New Economic School.More news: Canada minister they're looking forward to Trump trade talks
John says it's unclear how much Trump knew about the surveillance of Page when he issued his controversial tweet. Reports last month suggested that Page met with Russia's ambassador to the USA on the sidelines of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
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