Ex-Trump aide Carter Page: 'Of course' I wasn't a foreign agent

As part of its investigation into possible ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, the FBI reportedly obtained a secret FISA warrant last summer to monitor the communications of President Donald Trump's former campaign adviser, Carter Page.

Page's CNN interview came a day after the Washington Post reported the FBI had received a warrant to surveil him in summer 2016 as part of the federal investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation to influence the presidential race.

Page, a former investment banker who lived and worked in Moscow from 2004 to 2007, was a target of a Russian intelligence recruitment operation in NY in 2013, court documents show - before the Trump presidential campaign was operational.

Page, meanwhile, told Fox News on Wednesday he worked for the Trump campaign on an informal basis and was not a major player.

'This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance, ' Page said in an interview with the Post on Tuesday. Principally, an agent of a foreign power is someone who "knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence gathering activities for or on behalf of a foreign power".

Page - a distinguished Annapolis graduate who served on active duty from 1993-1998 before moving to Russia to work in oil and natural gas consulting - already admitted last week that he'd "met with and passed documents to a Russian intelligence operative in New York City" three years ago, unwittingly.

The original 90-day warrant has been renewed "more than once" by the FISA court, the Post report said.

Page went on to say that "all of this false evidence that you've been hearing about, myself with the dodgy dossier.will have very real implications", and be a "real game changer".

The secret order allowed the government under the Obama administration to monitor the communications of the adviser, Carter Page, as part of an investigation into potential links between Russian Federation and the Trump administration.

His name surfaced in a dossier or reports on links between the Trump operation and Russian Federation complied by former British spy Christopher Steele.

The Trump campaign has sought to minimize Page's role.

There's an insane amount of detail in the story about what perked up the interest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation concerning Page's contacts with various Russian operatives.

How Page came to be a Trump foreign-policy adviser in the first place remains a point no one on Team Trump has been able to explain. The officials were not authorized to give out information about the investigations.

The FBI and the Department of Justice also declined to comment.

But while officials launched the investigation into the Trump campaign's communications in July 2016, Page has yet to receive any formal charges of improper contact, and has himself repeatedly denied the allegations.

But when Tapper asked if the FBI had ever interviewed him as part of an investigation into links between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, Carter said he had no comment.

Last week, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Adam B. Schiff told MSNBC the panel will hear from Mr. Page "at the appropriate time".

Page has denied such a meeting occurred, saying he has never met Sechin and that he wants to testify before Congress to clear his name. But Page is now known to be the focus of a federal investigation Trump's campaign ties to Russian Federation.

  • Carolyn Briggs