FBI Reportedly Monitored Trump Campaign Adviser For Russia Contacts
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 14:50
In an interview with The Post last month, Trump said Page was a foreign policy adviser to his campaign. As the USA intelligence community began investigating Page, he left the Trump campaign. The White House will doubtless do so even more vigorously after news that investigators strongly suspected he was working as an agent of Vladimir Putin's government.
The bureau is investigating Russian interference in the United States election, an operation U.S. intelligence later concluded was created to help Trump win the presidency over Hillary Clinton.
The campaign adviser said Page participated in three dinners held for the campaign's volunteer foreign policy advisers in the spring and summer of 2016, coming from NY to Washington to meet with the group.
Page, meanwhile, told Fox News on Wednesday he worked for the Trump campaign on an informal basis and was not a major player. He was named to a five-member Trump foreign policy team in March 2016, a time when virtually no one in the foreign policy establishment wanted anything to do with Trump. "This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance", he said. 'I have nothing to hide'.
The FBI declined to comment on the Post report.
"I have no comment", Page said, insisting the person's name was "not relevant".
During the hearing last month, Democratic lawmakers repeatedly singled out Page's contacts in Russian Federation as a cause for concern.
Page suggested the FISA warrant was issued without proper evidence to point to probable cause.
The application for surveillance explained why investigators believed Page was an agent of Russian Federation, officials told the newspaper.
An application for electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act need not show evidence of a crime.
Shortly after Trump secured the Republican Party's presidential nomination, though, experts in foreign policy circles began to express concerns about Page's pro-Russia rhetoric, saying he had "little real understanding about U.S. -Russia relations" and "may be compromised by his investment in Russian energy giant Gazprom", which has always been controlled by Vladimir Putin's Kremlin. He made an interestingly timed visit to Moscow last July, during which he made a speech that was highly critical of American foreign policy (he says the visit was unrelated to the campaign).
According to the information, the application cited contacts Mr. Page had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in Y 2013. Page has denied ever meeting Sechin, though he says he briefly met with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.
The 90-day warrant was renewed a couple of times, the officials told The Post. The two soon established mutual interests in energy-industry developments and Page, apparently looking for business and investment opportunities, eventually passed some unclassified papers he had prepared to the Russian. The Russian falsely billed himself as a diplomat but was later charged with acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government by federal prosecutors.