Donald Trump claims 'illegal' spying after Carter Page warrant papers unveiled

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President Donald Trump asserted without evidence Sunday that newly released documents relating to the wiretapping of his onetime campaign adviser Carter Page "confirm with little doubt" that intelligence agencies misled the court that approved the warrant. Page is known to have been one of its targets. The application was based on information beyond what was included in the dossier.

He said the documents overstated the extent of his relationships with the Russian government and that the accusations against him were a "complete joke". Republicans say the documents reveal the Federal Bureau of Investigation relied on an anti-Trump source for its decision, while Democrats say the warrants underscore murky and possibly criminal connections between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the Russians were accused of a sustained cyberattack against the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

"Source #1" is widely believed to refer to Christopher Steele, a former British spy with extensive Russian Federation connections.

Republicans have previously pointed to the warrant's reliance on the Steele dossier - which was initially commissioned by a firm that had been contracted by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign - as evidence that the warrant was improperly granted, due to the dossier's alleged bias. Aimed directly at the GOP's 2016 presidential candidate, the government launched this Trump-Russia investigation on a preposterous pretext.

"Congratulations to @JudicialWatch and @TomFitton on being successful in getting the Carter Page FISA documents". "The FBI gave the court enough information to evaluate Steele's credibility". Page is an energy industry consultant with longstanding ties to Russian Federation.

Both Page and Strzok went on to become part of Mueller's investigation.

However, after allegations emerged in the so-called Trump dossier that he served as an intermediary between Russian officials and the president's campaign as they worked to advance Mr Trump's presidential efforts, Mr Page resigned from his role. Meaning that everyone Page was in contact could be spied on, as well as anyone who was in contact with the people that Page was in contact with.

"It was a solid application and renewals signed by four different judges appointed by three different Republican presidents", Schiff said on ABC's "This Week".

Asked whether Nunes wanted to comment on the release of the surveillance materials and the ways they appeared to contradict his February statements, a spokesperson for the Intelligence Committee said in an email that he did not. Australian officials relayed this information to their American counterparts.

Earlier Sunday, Trump also tweeted a defense of his broadly criticized one-on-one summit with Putin.

But former secretary of State John Kerry, a Democrat, told CBS that Mr Trump's performance there was "one of the most disgraceful, remarkable moments of kowtowing to a foreign leader" ever by an American president.

"What they say in the application is that he [Page] was, basically, the linchpin for coordinating the efforts that Russian Federation was making to interfere with the election with the Trump campaign", said McCarthy.

The documents' release comes nine days after 12 Russians were charged with hacking Democratic officials in the 2016 U.S. elections.