Carter Page maintained his argument Thursday that he had been placed under investigation by the FBI for his criticisms of the American government during the Obama administration, calling it “the most horrendous civil rights violation in recent U.S. election history.”
The former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign — though both Page and members of the campaign have attempted to distance themselves from each other — made the charge in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo Thursday.
Cuomo asked Page why, unlike even the conspiracy-prone President of the United States, he did not accept the conclusions of the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
“Chris, the main reason is the fact that I have been the victim of one of the most horrendous civil rights violations in recent U.S. election history,” Page said.
He referenced former President Barack Obama’s recent remarks at the University of Chicago, in which Obama urged students to get involved in public life.
“The disclaimer, which should have been in that speech that he gave was, make sure that you don’t say anything which could be construed as questioning the powers currently in authority, because then you’ll have a domestic political intelligence operation focused on you,” Page said.
Page was seemingly referring to the reported FISA warrant used to surveil him, after the FBI argued that it had probable cause to believe he was acting as a Russian agent. (Page called it “politically motivated government surveillance.”)
The New York Times reported on April 20 that Page’s July 2016 trip to Russia prompted the FBI’s to launch an investigation of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Scrutiny of that trip, Page told Cuomo, is “a big distraction from the real crimes and the real influence on the election, which was the civil rights violations and a lot of the exact approaches with the propaganda which went into this.”
In February, Page wrote to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, asserting that members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and their allies were engaged in a smear campaign against him.
Watch below via CNN: