President Donald Trump started his Monday decrying the use of political research, which he called “fake” documents, to obtain permission to monitor his former campaign aide Carter Page.
He also argued the use of that material meant the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential race should be seen as “discredited.”
Trump tweeted a series of inaccurate claims, including his allegation that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) warrant application against Page was "responsible" for starting the probe.
Documents released by the FBI indicate the dossier was just one piece of a larger mosaic of intelligence that caused the United States to be concerned about Page’s connections to Russian operatives. Much of the most sensitive information gathered by the FBI about Page is redacted in the documents released publicly.
But Trump went on Monday morning to quote the president of conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton, who appeared on "Fox and Friends" Monday morning, asserting the FISA warrant was set in place to "target the Trump team."
"It was classified 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,” Fitton said. “This is a Clinton Campaign document. It was a fraud and a hoax designed to target Trump and the DOJ, FBI and Obama Gang need to be held to account."
Page said he was stunned by the recent allegations, telling ABC News they were false and "above complete ignorance and/or insanity."
Trump defended Page in a second tweet Monday morning:
The president's tweeting comes after the Department of Justice released more than 400 pages of documents displaying the FBI's intent to monitor Page during his tenure in Trump's presidential campaign.