Trump reacts to Carter Page FISA documents with brazen lies

An incredible string of dishonesty, even by Trump's standards.


On Sunday and Monday, President Trump responded to the government’s disclosure of the warrant application the FBI used to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page with a remarkable string of false and misleading tweets.

The warrant application shows the FBI disclosed to the FISA court that some information it used came from political research conducted by former British spy Christopher Steele “that could be used to discredit [Trump’s] campaign.” But Steele was regarded as a reliable source, and the FBI relied on several other sources of information about Page’s suspicious ties to Russia.

Ultimately, federal judges approved the FISA warrant against Page, and then reauthorized it three more times over a period of time spanning two administrations. Each of the four judges involved was appointed by a Republican president.


The FBI first received approval to surveil Page in October 2016, a month after he left the Trump campaign amid controversy about his contacts with Russia. But the agency’s investigation of the Trump campaign began months earlier in July 2016, when emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee were published by WikiLeaks — a development that prompted an Australian diplomat to come forward and report that another Trump campaign adviser (George Papadopoulos) bragged to him about having foreknowledge that Russia “had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.” The diplomat’s report prompted the FBI to open up a counterintelligence investigation.

In short, the FBI followed proper procedure, and Republican-appointed judges approved the request to surveil a former Trump campaign associate. But Trump is trying to gaslight the country about all of that.

First, early Sunday morning, Trump posted a tweet in which he falsely claimed the Page documents prove the “FBI misled the courts,” when in fact they show the opposite.

Less than a half hour later, Trump — ignoring the fact that Page had left the campaign by the time the FBI first obtained a FISA warrant to surveil him — baselessly claimed that it’s “Looking more & more like the Trump Campaign for President was illegally being spied upon (surveillance) for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton the the DNC.”

Less than two hours later, Trump suggested he supports investigations into the Republican-appointed judges who approved warrants against Page.

Trump returned to the topic on Sunday evening. Ignoring the fact that he was personally warned by senior US intelligence officials about Russian infiltration in August 2016 and did nothing about it, Trump attempted to blame former President Obama for not doing more about Russia’s attack on American democracy.

Trump’s dismissal of Russian interference as “a big hoax” also contradicts U.S. intelligence officials and members of his own cabinet, who have concluded that Russia interfered in the election on his behalf, and indicates he still trusts Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word above that of his own government.

On Monday morning, Trump was back at it. The president posted a tweet falsely claiming that the “Fake Dirty Dossier” was “knowingly & falsely submitted to FISA and… was responsible for starting the totally conflicted and discredited Mueller Witch Hunt!”

Trump followed up by alleging that heavy redactions in the FISA warrant are meant “to cover up misconduct by the FBI and the Justice Department in misleading the Court by using this Dossier in a dishonest way to gain a warrant to target the Trump Team.”

The redactions actually followed standard procedure meant to protect civil liberties and investigatory sources and methods. This is also the first time the government has ever publicly disclosed documents pertaining to a FISA warrant.


Trump went on to baselessly accuse the FBI of misleading “the Court to provide a pretext to SPY on the Trump Team.” In fact, Page was no longer publicly associated with the Trump campaign by the time the FBI sought a FISA warrant against him.

Trump capped off his string of false and gaslighting tweets by quoting a conservative activist’s claim that Page “wasn’t an agent of the Russians.”

In fact, on Sunday morning, Page admitted on CNN that he did in fact serve as an advisor advised the Kremlin, and was privy to conversations about removing US sanctions against Russia during his trip to the country in July 2016 — a period of time in which he was still advising the Trump campaign.

Trump’s remarkable string of false and misleading claims prompted Tony Schwartz, co-author of “Art of the Deal,” to remark that it is becoming “very rare now for Trump to say anything true.” Meanwhile, Trump’s Republican supporters in Congress also misrepresented the Page documents in an attempt to gaslight the public.