Rep. Adam Schiff said in an interview aired Friday that he has no sympathy for Carter Page, and that he also has no regrets about writing in a memo released in 2018 that the FBI did not abuse the foreign surveillance process in order to spy on the former Trump campaign aide.
Schiff offered the remarks when asked in a PBS interview about the Justice Department inspector general’s (IG) report, which found the FBI withheld exculpatory information in applications seeking Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page.
The report stated the FBI relied heavily on the Steele dossier in the applications, which asserted Page was a Russian agent. But the IG found the FBI was unable to corroborate any of the dossier’s allegations about Page. The report also said a major source for dossier author Christopher Steele told the FBI in January 2017 that parts of the dossier were exaggerated and misrepresented.
FBI agents who investigated Page also withheld information about the Trump aide’s longstanding relationship with the CIA. Page was an “operational contact” for the agency, but FBI agents failed to disclose that to the FISA court.
Schiff was an early promoter of the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC. He read out portions of the 35-page document, including the unverified allegations about Page, during a House Intelligence Committee hearing March 20, 2017.
But despite the IG’s findings, Schiff told PBS host Margaret Hoover he has no sympathy for Page.
“I have to say Carter Page came before our committee and for hours of his testimony, denied things that we knew were true, later had to admit them during his testimony,” said Schiff.
“It’s hard to be sympathetic to someone who isn’t honest with you when he comes and testifies under oath. It’s also hard to be sympathetic when you have someone who has admitted to being an adviser to the Kremlin.”
.@RepAdamSchiff is unsympathetic to Carter Page, telling @FiringLineShow that Page “denied things that we knew were true” in testimony, admitted to being an advisor to the Kremlin & “was apparently both targeted by the KGB, but also talking to the United States and its agencies.” pic.twitter.com/GkjdGQZWLV
— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) December 20, 2019
Schiff did not expand on why he thought Page gave misleading remarks during his Nov. 2, 2017, testimony. Page, a former Naval officer, pushed for a release of the transcript shortly after his testimony. He was also never accused in the special counsel’s investigation of making false statements to Congress.
Page responded on Twitter, saying he considers Schiff to be “more untrustworthy and dangerous” than a former FBI lawyer alleged in the IG report to have altered an email about Page.
There have been various allegations of dishonesty regarding FBI lawyer Clinesmith. On information, belief and firsthand experience since 2017, I have actually found @RepAdamSchiff to be even more untrustworthy and dangerous with his misuse of @DNC lies:https://t.co/kMkRYFceGs
— Carter Page, Ph.D. (@carterwpage) December 21, 2019
Hoover also pressed Schiff over a memo that he and other House Intelligence Democrats released Feb. 24, 2018, defending the FBI’s surveillance of Page, as well as the bureau’s handling of the Steele dossier.
Schiff wrote in the memo that “FBI and DOJ officials did not abuse the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign.”
“In hindsight, do you regret writing that?” Hoover asked the California Democrat.
“Well, I don’t regret that because at the time that’s what we knew,” Schiff said.
“Now, two years later, 170 interviews later, 2 million documents later, we learn there were serious problems.”
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