Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page considers himself a “victim” of a civil rights violation because the U.S. government is looking into his alleged ties with Russian intelligence and the Kremlin.
Page — who was investigated for his connections to Russian intelligence — claimed Tuesday that U.S. surveillance on him was based on a “dodgy dossier” a federal judge used to find probable cause to issue a warrant of surveillance. The “dodgy” source comes from the now-infamous intelligence dossier that includes explosive allegations about President Donald Trump and his campaign.
U.S. investigators have been able to corroborate some details of the dossier, including about a dozen conversations between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals, CNN reported, on the same days and locations described in the 35-page document written by an ex-British spy.
“Chris, the main reason is the fact that I have been the victim of one of the most horrendous civil rights violations in recent U.S. election history,” Page said during a CNN interview. He insisted he was unfairly targeted because of speeches he gave in Russia as a “private citizen.”
“So you think that because you say things in Russia and elsewhere that are negative about American policy, the United States intel services decided to take you down and invaded your privacy and hurt your civil rights in the process?” Cuomo asked. “Is that your theory?”
“I’m basing it on recent reports, Chris, with the fact that the most recent dossier was used as a false basis saying there is probable cause when there is absolutely zero,” Page responded.
“There is no probable cause, and there could be no probable cause based on anything I’ve ever done with Russia or any Russian person,” Page added, saying he would take legal action against the “dodgy dossier.”
— CNN (@CNN) April 27, 2017
But there was probable cause. Under the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the FBI secured a warrant to monitor communications from Page last summer after having reason to believe he acted as an “agent of a foreign power.” Kremlin intelligence also reportedly tried to recruit Page as an asset in 2013 and allegedly came in contact with him again during the ramp-up to Trump’s campaign. Trump’s aides have tried to minimize Page’s role in the campaign and Trump has denied knowing him personally. (Trump gave a shout out to Page as a foreign policy adviser during a meeting with the Washington Post editorial board in March 2016.)
There are multiple ongoing investigations into whether Russia interfered in the U.S. election, including by the FBI, and House and Senate intelligence committees. Page previously alleged that reports of Russian influence are “false narratives” and a “political stunt.”
Perhaps more egregious than Page exaggerating his victimhood was that he previously compared “surveillance of him to the eavesdropping that the FBI and Justice Department conducted against civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr,” the Washington Post reported. King fought for civil rights and gave his life to advance equality.