Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page said the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court “absolutely” should unseal all documents and transcripts connected to the warrant applications used to wiretap him, during an exclusive interview Monday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
Page spoke to host Laura Ingraham three days after President Donald Trump declassified House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’ (R-Calif.) memo alleging anti-Trump bias within the Department of Justice and the FBI.
The memo also claimed DOJ and the FBI would not have obtained their surveillance warrant requests without the use of the unverified Trump-Russia dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. As a result, Page said, it’s time for the American people to see the court transcripts for themselves.
“Absolutely,” Page replied when Ingraham asked him if he supported The New York Times’ decision to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the DOJ and a motion Monday asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to release the transcripts from the court proceedings and further documentation.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), on “The Ingraham Angle,” encouraged Page’s willingness to have the court transcripts released and urged the court to acquiesce with The Times’ request.
“But the fact that [Page] says, ‘Release all the FISA stuff. Release it’ … to me, it just seems like he just wants all of this stuff to come out because he doesn’t think there’s any there there,” DeSantis said.
“But remember, because he was a U.S. citizen when they went to surveil him, it’s not just that there’s suspicion he could be acting as an agent of foreign powers. You also have to show he’s violating a criminal statute,” DeSantis added.
“The Nunes memo doesn’t say what statute did they cite as a potential violation. Was it just some pretextual [sic] thing, or was there honestly something where they thought he was violating the law? We need to release all of this information.”
Page noted that the highlights in the Nunes memo “kept dripping out” prior to its actual release as troubling details surfaced depicting bias within the DOJ’s and FBI’s senior levels. The details included acknowledgment that the dossier used to approve surveillance of him was funded by the Democratic National Committee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“Well, my first reaction, Laura, when I saw it was, you know — there was a lot of details that kept dripping out, and it sounded really bad,” Page said. “And when I actually saw it, it was even worse than I could have possibly imagined.”
Page noted that the next several hours after the memo’s Friday release consisted of a concerted “attack on Chairman Nunes and the committee” while some people sought to “come up with any new information to discredit me” amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s 2016 U.S. presidential election interference.
“It’s pretty stark contrast between getting the facts out there and having, you know, still getting attacked. So it’s pretty crazy,” Page said. “The attacks started almost immediately. Anyone who had any connection or had ever done any work positive or otherwise in Russia was constantly sort of the number-one target for attacks.”
Page’s two trips to Russia in 2016, his business connections, and his contacts with Russian officials before and during the 2016 presidential campaign earned intense scrutiny. Page noted that he served as an “informal, unpaid adviser” of Trump’s. He left the campaign in September 2016 amid controversy.
Of his trips to Russia, Page said he gave the Trump campaign “a heads up, and they said, you know, fine to go, but you [are] having nothing to do with the Trump campaign as part of this.”
“I sent a letter to [former FBI] Director [James] Comey on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, two days after the defamatory articles came out against me,” Page said. “I basically told him, ‘Everything is totally false. If you have any questions about this witch hunt’ — which is what I called it — ‘please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to set the record straight and talk with your agents.'”