Former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page and the FBI’s surveillance of him was all the rage on the Sunday talk show circuit.
Trump championed Judicial Watch’s conclusion that the DoJ misled the court in order to attain a FISA surveillance warrant (please see here).
Rubio delivered a considerably different message on CNN (covered here).
Lindsey Graham backed Trump, and then some.
But what of Carter Page himself?
Page guested on CNN’s State of the Union to throw his hat into the ring of opinion.
His hat was fairly clear, as expressed to Jake Tapper:
“This is so ridiculous, it’s just beyond words.”
Repeatedly referencing the “spin” of the story, Page admitted he partook in the Group of 20 Russian summit five years ago, but he insisted his participation has been greatly exaggerated.
“It’s really spin. I mean, I sat in on some meetings. But to call me an advisor, I think, is way over the top.”
Pressing Page, Tapper pointed out that the former Trump campaign advisor had referred to himself as an “informal advisor” to the Kremlin in a written letter before the Group of 20 event.
Page shrugged it off:
“This is really nothing. Just an attempt to distract from the real crimes that are shown in this misleading document.”
That seems a bit dismissive of a pretty important question with international implications.
When further asked about his involvement with Moscow, as related to substantially-redacted documents released by the DoJ Saturday, Page said he’d want to “see what they’re referring to, specifically.”
— CNN (@CNN) July 22, 2018
The allegations in those documents are pretty severe. The material indicates the FBI “believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government…to undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law.”
However, surely the FBI’s use of the Steele dossier — a collection of documents which was partly funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the assertions of which have been labeled as unfounded allegations of Trump ties to Russia — in order to attain the warrant has called into question the legitimacy of the surveillance for many observers.
Oh, and this: the FBI didn’t tell the court about the Hillary thing.
Perhaps the strongest statements about the documents Sunday came from North Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. He called the warrant “a bunch of garbage.”
“If the dossier is the reason you issued the warrant, it was a bunch of garbage. The dossier has proven to be a bunch of garbage.”
Graham delivered this to CBS’s Face the Nation:
“The warrant on Carter Page was supported mostly by a dossier that came from Michael Steele, who was being paid by the Democratic Party to do opposition research. And the dossier was collected, I think, from Russian intelligence services. And if you ask the FBI today, ‘How much of the dossier has been verified,’ almost none of it.”
Politics is a dirty business. And the Department of Justice — perhaps once thought to be strictly a law enforcement organization — is certainly, contemporarily, a political player.
For something totally different, please check out my articles on the evil of Ivanka and Donald Jr. displaying photos of their kids, religion and liberalism, and reaction to the interim EPA chief.
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