The FBI Released Documents on the Carter Page Wiretap. Then Trump Had a Twitter Meltdown.

A warrant to surveil the Trump campaign adviser was released Saturday.

Former Trump campaign advisor Carter PageJ. Scott Applewhite/AP

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On Saturday, the Justice Department released previously classified documents on the FBI’s surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The documents, part of a redacted version of the bureau’s 2016 application for a top-secret warrant to surveil Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), show that the FBI had reason to suspect that Page was the subject of “targeted recruitment” by Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election and “has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.” The documents were released after the New York Times, Judicial Watch, and other news and advocacy groups filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. This marks the first time a FISA application has been made public since FISA was enacted in 1978.

House Republicans have accused the FBI of abusing its powers to surveil Page. In the February Nunes memo, released by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Republicans on the committee claimed that Page’s surveillance warrant was based on the now-infamous Steele dossier, a report compiled by former British agent Christopher Steele that alleges conspiracy between President Donald Trump and Russia. The documents released Saturday show that the Steele dossier was part, but not all, of the FBI’s warrant application. The application also notes that the FBI believed the person who hired Steele was looking for damaging information on Trump, but added that Steele had historically “provided reliable information” and believed the information “to be credible.”

According to the recently released documents, the FBI told the FISA court that Page “has established relationships with Russian government officials, including Russian intelligence officers” and that the bureau believed that “the Russian government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with” Trump’s campaign.

Page dismissed the contents of the applications on CNN’s State of the Union. “I’ve never been an agent to a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination,” he told host Jake Tapper. “This is really nothing and just an attempt to distract from the real crimes that are shown in this misleading document.”

Trump took to Twitter to claim victory in the “FISA scam.”

Trump also claimed that the so-called scam triggered special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation—it did not—and that the documents provide increasing evidence that his campaign was surveilled “for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton.”

Finally, he assured his followers:

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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