Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page ridiculed the idea that he was ever an adviser to the Kremlin, even though in 2013 he himself claimed in a letter to have served as an informal adviser to the Kremlin, helping its staff prepare for a meeting of world leaders. On Sunday, he told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union," "I've never been an agent of a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination."
Though he sat in on some meetings, "to call me an adviser, I think is way over the top," he said. Page has also previously denied being a Russian agent. "This is really nothing, and really just an attempt to distract from the real crimes that are shown in this misleading document."
Tapper pressed him on his original claim to have advised Moscow -- "But in the past you said you've had the privilege to be an adviser to the Kremlin for the G-20." Page called his "conversations with people" "informal."
The Trump administration on Saturday released a set of redacted documents once deemed top secret, the October 2016 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court application and renewals to wiretap Page.
The documents involving Page were released to the New York Times and several other media organizations that had filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to obtain them. The FBI later posted the documents to its FOIA website online. The application refers to Page as "an agent of a foreign power," saying that the "FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government."
The application also said that the FBI believed that Russia's efforts to meddle in the U.S. election "are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals" associated with Mr. Trump's campaign. It stated that Page "has established relationships with Russian Government officials, including Russian intelligence officers."
The application notes that Page, during a July 2016 trip to Russia "met with at least two Russian officials." Some of the information gleaned about Page comes from a person identified as "Source #1," who, from a note in the application appears to be Christopher Steele, the author of the Steele dossier, which contains unverified claims about Mr. Trump. The application explains that "Source #1" was hired to do research on "Candidate #1's ties to Russia" that "could be used to discredit" his campaign.
Large swaths of the application were redacted before its public release.
President Trump launched a series of tweets about the application Monday, saying it was "Not about Carter Page..was all about getting Trump." He also complained that "Source #1 (Steele) was the major source." He quoted Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton saying, "'Carter Page wasn't a spy, wasn't an agent of the Russians - he would have cooperated with the FBI. It was a fraud and a hoax designed to target Trump," and Mr. Trump added, "A disgrace to America. They should drop the discredited Mueller Witch Hunt now!"