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20 April 2017, 04:57 | Laverne Osborne
The FBI secured a court order in 2016 to secretly surveil the communications of Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, as the agency investigates possible ties between the campaign and Russian Federation, the Washington Post has reported.
Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 12: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtained a secret court order a year ago to monitor the communications of Carter Page, an advisor to President Donald Trump during the election campaign, as part of its investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, speaks at a news conference at RIA Novosti news agency in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016.
These allegations are now at the centre of an investigation determining whether the Russian government was somehow involved in helping swing the election result in favour of Trump.
Page told The Washington Post Tuesday that the surveillance was inappropriate as well as unnecessary.
The court order, known as a FISA warrant, is highly classified and issued in secret.
"I have done nothing wrong", he told Fox News in an interview.
"I was so happy to hear that further confirmation is now being revealed".
"You know I don't talk about ongoing investigations".
That was one piece of the puzzle that they had to basically show the court in order to get this FISA. No one in the world of global relations seemed to have heard of him; even among expats in Moscow, where Mr Page spent a few years with Merrill Lynch before starting his own energy consultancy, he was scarcely remembered.
According to the information, the application cited contacts Mr. Page had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in Y 2013.
Another spy called Page "an idiot" and an easy mark: "I also promised him a lot..." The Trump campaign team has said Page's role in the campaign was "informal".
The FBI's investigation was disclosed last month by Director James Comey during testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
Page has denounced any surveillance directed against him as politically motivated, even while Washington has in recent months been thick with rumors about who among Trump's inner circle may have been targeted for surveillance under FISA.
Page, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, said he is being made into a political scapegoat.
Page has denied such a meeting occurred, saying he has never met Sechin in his life and that he wants to testify before Congress to clear his name.
The application to the special court made it clear that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the national security division are continuing to try to get their arms around the scope of the Russian incursion into the US election.
"I don't recall every single word that I ever said", Page added.
The official admitted that Page could have written policy memos for the campaign, but his name was only on a list of supposed advisors because of a recommendation from Sam Clovis, an Iowa conservative now working in Trump's Department of Agriculture. "I can't definitively say it was never raised by anyone as mentioned this morning". 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.
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