Jeff Sessions picked alleged Russian agent Carter Page for Trump's team

Cheryl Sanders
April 14, 2017

Federal officials needed to present probable cause that Page was acting as a Russian agent to obtain the warrant from the FISA judge, the Washington Post reports.

IT SEEMED a little unusual when, in an interview with the Washington Post in March of 2016, Donald Trump named Carter Page as a foreign-policy adviser.

FBI Director James Comey revealed during a hearing last month in front of the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI had begun an investigation last July into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections, including whether there were any links with the Trump campaign.

In the CNN interview, Page - who has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and criticized US sanctions against Russia - refused to say who'd brought him into the Trump campaign, calling that issue irrelevant.

"This is such a joke that it's beyond words", Page said of the news, which broke Tuesday in the Washington Post, that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had obtained a FISA warrant to listen in on his phone conversations. "It shows how low the Clinton/Obama regime went to destroy our democracy and suppress dissidents who did not fully support their failed foreign policy", Page said.

Ex-Trump aide Carter Page declared Wednesday that "of course" he hasn't acted as foreign agent, denying reports that he worked with the Russian government. Officials are now investigating such communications to determine whether the campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the election in Trump's favour. Sources familiar with the case leaked this development to The Washington Post last night, though it does not mean that Page was involved in any wrongdoing.

According to the information, the application cited contacts Mr. Page had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in Y 2013. Page said in September that he briefly met Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich during that trip. Nunes also viewed these documents on White House grounds, where two staffers aided in a navigator capacity since intelligence services were reportedly stonewalling Nunes.

Page told the Post he had "nothing to hide". But the information obtained through the intercepts can be used to open a criminal investigation and may be used in a prosecution. The campaign says and Carter Page has confirmed that he never actually met Donald Trump.

Page's reference to the "Dodgy Dossier" is to the memos compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

Trump, in an interview with the Post in March of 2016, identified Page - a former investment banker in Moscow - as "a foreign policy adviser to his campaign".

The US's sanctions on Russia "is a major issue in the Russian economy, for average individuals on the street even if it has had minimal impact on the senior people that have been directly targeted", Page said.

Judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which review FISA warrant submissions, approve virtually all applications. According to the Post, Page travelled to Russia in July, met with Russian energy executive and Putin confidant Igor Sechin and gave a speech that was critical of US policy towards Russia. Adam Entous is one of the reporters who broke the story, and he joins us in our studios this morning.

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