Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Sunday disputed President Donald Trump’s claims earlier Sunday morning that the newly-released 2016 application to surveil former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page showed misconduct by the FBI or Justice Department.
“I have a different view on it,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Carter Page, I’m not claiming that he’s James Bond. He’s not 007. But he’s a guy that even before the campaign — so this is not Trump-related — even before the campaign, is a guy that went around the world, bragging about his connections in Russia.”
Rubio continued: “So they knew who he was before the campaign. Then you see the guy kind of gravitating around a leading campaign, and then other things came up on their screen and they said ‘We’ve got to look at this guy.’ And that’s what the FISA application sort of lays out.”
Rubio says he didn’t believe that the surveillance of Page, who has maintained that he was never a Russian agent, meant that the FBI was “spying on the campaign.”
“I don’t think it’s part of any broader plot,” he added later. “The only plot here is the plot to interfere in the our election by the Russians.”
“I don’t think they did anything wrong,” Rubio responded when pressed by Tapper to say whether the surveillance was justified. “I think they went to the court, they got the judges to approve it, they laid out all of the information, and there was a lot of reasons unrelated to the dossier for why they wanted to look at Carter Page.”
The senator made a similar point to “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan.
“I have a different view on this issue than the President and the White House,” he said. “They did not spy on the campaign from anything and everything that I have seen.”