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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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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