US sought to monitor Trump adviser last summer

Apr 13, 2017, 00:53
US sought to monitor Trump adviser last summer

While talking about Carter Page - a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser whom the FBI is investigating for being a Russian agent - McEnany acknowledged that it seems that Page has done work for the Russian government, but countered that there's no way Trump could have known that at the time he named him a top foreign policy adviser.

Page, who has not been accused of any crimes, has acknowledged meeting with a Russian spy in New York City in 2013, but in response to The Post story vehemently denied any wrongdoing and compared the surveillance of him to government eavesdropping against civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Page is among the Trump associates under scrutiny as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional committees investigate whether his presidential campaign had ties to Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

The FBI and congressional committees are investigating whether Russian Federation tried to influence the election in Trump's favour, mostly by hacking Democratic operatives' emails and releasing embarrassing information, or possibly by colluding with Trump associates.

Watch the whole segment below.

After concerns were raised about the nature of the trip, the Trump campaign attempted to distance their candidate from Page, characterizing his role as "informal" and his contributions as minimal, though Trump himself had previously identified page as a key member of his foreign policy team.

By this spring, Page had been demoted to a minor player in White House press secretary Sean Spicer's descriptions and Trump at one point claimed he didn't even know him.

Page, however, called the FISA warrant "unjustified" in a statement to CNN's Manu Raju.

"Page was sharply critical of the his remarks, saying Washington has a 'hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change'".

The FISA Court judges who rule on warrant requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act oversee the nation's most sensitive national security cases.

Multiple U.S. officials told The Washington Post that the U.S. Justice Department got a warrant to look at Page's communications from the 2016 presidential campaign. "Though the standard is a high bar to meet, applications are hardly ever denied".

In July, Page traveled to Moscow, where he delivered a speech harshly critical of the United States' policy toward Russian Federation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke with the Russian envoy at the same event, a conversation he failed to reveal when asked about contacts with Russians during his Senate confirmation hearings. By the fall, he appeared to have cut ties to the Republican campaign.

The extent of Page's influence within the Trump campaign is unclear. One campaign official said Page was recruited by Sam Clovis, an Iowa Republican operative who ran the Trump campaign's policy shop and is now a senior adviser at the Agriculture Department. Before that, he was an investment banker in Moscow. "According to the company's website, he has advised on transactions for Gazprom and RAO UES, a pair of Russian entities".

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