Carter Page writes to congressional examiners to describe concern, which he suggests would support Donald Trumps claim Trump Tower was wiretapped
A former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump has written to congressional examiners claiming, without proof, that his mobile phone may have been tapped last year.
Carter Page, a businessman, indicates this would support the view that the Trump campaign headquarters at Trump Tower in New York was under surveillance, since he works nearby and was a frequent guest there.
The president has asserted in a series of tweets that Trump Tower was wiretapped by Barack Obama just before the election but did not explain his basis for the accusation, eventually calling for the House and Senate intelligence committees to investigate.
Page, like Trump, has challenged US policy towards Russia and called for warmer relations between the two countries. He visited Moscow last July and December and has not denied meeting the Russian ambassador to the US during last Julys Republican convention, where the Trump campaign successfully lobbied to drop anti-Russia language from the party platform.
In a letter addressed to Richard Burr and Mark Warner, chairman and vice-chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Page notes media reports that secret court orders were issued last October to allow the FBI to conduct surveillance of US persons in an investigation of possible contacts between Russian banks and the Trump Organization.
Having spoken in favor of some of Mr Trumps policies on other Fox News Group programs during the 2016 campaign as a campaign surrogate and given the peaceful relationship I have had with Russian citizens since my years in the US Navy, it may be understandable why I would be an associated political target if such sick activities had indeed been committed as alleged in the previously cited media reports, he writes.
For your datum, I have frequently dined in Trump Grill, had lunch in Trump Caf, had coffee sessions in the Starbucks at Trump Tower, attended events and spent many hours in campaign headquarters on the fifth floor last year. As a sister skyscraper in Manhattan, my office at the IBM Building( 590 Madison Avenue) is literally attached to the Trump Tower building by an atrium.
Page continues: So if prior media reports may be believed that surveillance was indeed undertaken against me and other Trump supporters, it should be essentially deemed as a proved fact that the American peoples concerns that Trump Tower was under surveillance last year is entirely correct.
He says he keeps his cellphone on at all times except when flying, partly because of a a chronic medical condition that requires permanent access to a particular app.
In what is presumably a reference to the recent publication of documents by WikiLeaks indicating the CIA preserves the technical capability to hacker consumer devices, Page adds: All of this is particularly relevant following recent accusations surrounding surveillance techniques.
The Senate committee will examine Russias interference in the election, which intelligence agencies concluded was carried out to hurt Hillary Clintons campaign, and potential links between Russia and Trumps associates. The panel has asked about a dozen individuals and organisations, including the White House, to conserve relevant materials.
The FBI is also carrying out its own separate investigation. Trump has repeatedly denied any knowledge of improper contacts and the White House has complained about a fake narrative being recycled.
Page, an petroleum and energy industry consultant who has spent significant time in Russia, told the Guardian he would be more than happy to testify to the Senate committee. He admitted that he had no proof that his telephone was put under surveillance but denied he was attempting to put up a smokescreen, turning his flame instead on the Clinton campaign.
My phone appears clean to me, he wrote in an email. More to the point and if they were indeed doing a J. Edgar Hoover-style political attack based on my faiths , nothing Ive ever written or said on it could be possibly construed as transgressing any U.S. Statute … as per the false evidence and concocted allegations of the Lying Crooked Hillary campaign.
Over the past year the Trump campaign and administration have issued conflicting statements over its relationship with Page.
Adam Jentleson, senior strategic consultant at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, has argued , referring to one of Pages trip-ups to Moscow , the change to the RNC platform and the first batch of DNC emails from WikiLeaks : Two weeks in July 2016 depict why Page could be such an important piece of the puzzle.
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