The FBI Released Documents on the Carter Page Wiretap. Then Trump Had a Twitter Meltdown.

A warrant to surveil the Trump campaign adviser was released Saturday.

Former Trump campaign advisor Carter PageJ. Scott Applewhite/AP

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On Saturday, the Justice Department released previously classified documents on the FBI’s surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The documents, part of a redacted version of the bureau’s 2016 application for a top-secret warrant to surveil Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), show that the FBI had reason to suspect that Page was the subject of “targeted recruitment” by Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election and “has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.” The documents were released after the New York Times, Judicial Watch, and other news and advocacy groups filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. This marks the first time a FISA application has been made public since FISA was enacted in 1978.

House Republicans have accused the FBI of abusing its powers to surveil Page. In the February Nunes memo, released by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Republicans on the committee claimed that Page’s surveillance warrant was based on the now-infamous Steele dossier, a report compiled by former British agent Christopher Steele that alleges conspiracy between President Donald Trump and Russia. The documents released Saturday show that the Steele dossier was part, but not all, of the FBI’s warrant application. The application also notes that the FBI believed the person who hired Steele was looking for damaging information on Trump, but added that Steele had historically “provided reliable information” and believed the information “to be credible.”

According to the recently released documents, the FBI told the FISA court that Page “has established relationships with Russian government officials, including Russian intelligence officers” and that the bureau believed that “the Russian government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with” Trump’s campaign.

Page dismissed the contents of the applications on CNN’s State of the Union. “I’ve never been an agent to a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination,” he told host Jake Tapper. “This is really nothing and just an attempt to distract from the real crimes that are shown in this misleading document.”

Trump took to Twitter to claim victory in the “FISA scam.”

Trump also claimed that the so-called scam triggered special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation—it did not—and that the documents provide increasing evidence that his campaign was surveilled “for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton.”

Finally, he assured his followers:

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Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

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