Breaking News Emails
A one-time foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign lashed out at the "Clinton/Obama regime" after a report published Tuesday said he was the subject of a secret surveillance warrant seeking information about his possible collaboration with Russians to manipulate the 2016 election.
Carter Page told NBC News late Tuesday that he felt he was being targeted because of his support for the Republican presidential candidate and now president.
Page, an energy industry consultant, told NBC News he was "happy" that a story by the Washington Post "confirmed" the investigation into his possible collusion with Russian President Vladimir Putin's government.
Breaking News Emails
"There had been prior reports, but I was so happy to hear that further confirmation is now being revealed. It shows how low the Clinton/Obama regime went to destroy our democracy and suppress dissidents who did not fully support their failed foreign policy," Page said.
The one-time junior foreign policy adviser said he looked forward to further revelations about the court order that the FBI obtained from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.
Page predicted that those revelations could unveil what he called the "Dodgy Dossier — a document that clearly is false evidence, which could represent yet another potential crime."
The backlash from Page came after the Post reported earlier Tuesday that the FISA court had issued a warrant, allowing the FBI to monitor possible communications between Russian agents and the one-time Trump campaign adviser.
Federal investigators were able to persuade a FISA judge that there was probable cause to believe that Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, Russia, according to law enforcement and U.S. officials cited by the Post.
The revelation provided the most detailed evidence of the FBI's suspicion that the Trump campaign may have been working with Russian agents during the 2016 presidential campaign.
NBC News was unable to independently corroborate the Post's report and has not seen the documents that the FBI reportedly used to obtain the court order. The newspaper provided no details about what information federal investigators may have obtained as a result of the warrant.
Page has also never been charged with any crime as a result of the investigation.
An ongoing investigation still is trying to determine whether Trump's campaign worked with the Russians to help the businessman turned reality TV star defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the November election.
The Post cited unnamed officials saying the individuals "were not authorized to discuss details of a counterintelligence probe."
Page described himself in the past as a junior member of the Trump's campaign's foreign policy group. A campaign spokeswoman once called his role "informal."
Page said in an interview with the Post that the court order "confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance," adding: "I have nothing to hide." He went on to compare the surveillance of him to FBI and Justice Department spying on Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement.
The surveillance court requires a detailed and weighty application in order to issue surveillance orders. The documentation submitted for the Page order included a detailed accounting of why investigators believe Page was operating as an agent for the Russians and "knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow," according to the Post's summary of its sources' statements.
Among the details the FBI provided the court were contacts between Page and a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013, the sources told the Post. The warrant application said Page had other contacts with Russian operatives.
The application to the special court made it clear that the FBI and the national security division are continuing to try to get their arms around the scope of the Russian incursion into the U.S. election. The court first issued a 90-day warrant, which was subsequently renewed, the Post reported.
A White House official told NBC News that they believe the FISA warrant news seems to validate allegations made by the administration that there was surveillance taking place on Trump allies. The official noted that despite the scrutiny and surveillance the fact that there is still no hard evidence of collusion is significant.
And a GOP source with close ties to the White House and the Trump campaign said that Page had no official title, was never on staff and was never compensated by the campaign. That source and Page himself both insisted he'd never met Trump in person.
The FBI and the Justice Department declined comment to NBC News on the report.
Discussing the investigation with the House Intelligence Committee in March, FBI Director James Comey said that the bureau's investigation included a look at whether members of the Trump campaign had coordinated with the Russian government to impact the outcome of the election. The FBI director declined to name individuals who are part of the investigation.
Page previously worked in Moscow and has acknowledged his investment in a major Russian energy company, which he said he subsequently sold.