Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained FISA warrant to monitor former Trump adviser

Donald Trump. Carlo Allegri Reuters

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russian Federation and the campaign, the Washington Post reported yesterday, citing law enforcement and other U.S. officials.

But Page, who has repeatedly changed his tune on the extent of his ties to Russian Federation, then claimed that he could not recall.

The Post's report also said Page submitted policy memos to the campaign and several times asked to meet with Trump, but that request was never granted.

Page's contacts with Podobnyy happened about three years before Trump listed him as a foreign policy adviser to the campaign.

Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, said that when he was in Moscow last summer, "something may have come up in a conversation" with Russians about lifting USA sanctions.

In what the paper described as a lengthy declaration, the government said Page "engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow".

According to Fox News, contact Page had with a Russian operative who tried to recruit him as an intelligence source in 2013 was enough to get the government's application for the FISA warrant approved. Asked how many times he met with candidate Donald Trump, he said, "I have not met one on one or in any small group with Mr. Trump".

In an earlier statement, Mr. Page insisted he was "happy" the so-called FISA court order authorizing a US intelligence probe had been made public because it revealed evidence the Obama administration wanted to "suppress dissidents who did not fully support their failed foreign policy". 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.

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"I don't think I've ever spoken to him", Trump said. However, I don't think any evidence has been found to support Trump's contentious tweet, and I believe criticism of that tweet remains fair.

Page had been previously working as an investment banker before he became a foreign policy adviser to Trump's campaign. The 90-day FISA warrant to surveil Page was renewed at least once.

Any application for such an order would have had to "be approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation", the Post reported.

Page attracted controversy during the campaign for making pro-Putin speeches, while touting the idea that a Trump election would be good for U.S. -Russia relations.

"I have no concerns", Page said.

Page said if true, the Post report would be a "game changer".

The warrant was granted as the FBI conducted a counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the election, an operation United States intelligence later concluded was ultimately created to help Mr Trump to victory.

Page also said he spoke to no Russian officials when he was there last summer.

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