Memo claims Rosenstein approved application to extend surveillance of Carter Page: report

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinVote Democrat in midterms to rein in Trump, preserve justice Trump lawyer: NBC interview with Comey firing comments was edited Trump attack on Sessions may point to his departure MORE approved an application last year to extend surveillance of former Trump campaign associate Carter Page, according to a secret Republican memo detailed in a The New York Times report.

According to the Times, which cited three people familiar with the memo, the FBI and Justice Department's application was based partially on research by investigator Christopher Steele, who compiled a dossier containing unverified claims about President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE's ties to Russia.

The GOP memo alleges officials did not sufficiently explain their reasoning for extending the surveillance, it added.

ADVERTISEMENT

There is no information that the FBI or Justice Department did anything improper in their attempts to get a surveillance warrant, according to the Times. The newspaper noted, however, that Republicans could seize on the information and allege that Rosenstein didn't properly vet the application.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement that  Trump "has been clear publicly and privately that he wants absolute transparency throughout this process."

"Based on numerous news reports, top officials at the F.B.I. have engaged in conduct that shows bias against President Trump and bias for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE," he said, according to the Times.

"While President Trump has the utmost respect and support for the rank-and-file members of the F.B.I., the anti-Trump bias at the top levels that appear to have existed is troubling.”

Page served as Trump's foreign policy adviser until September 2016.

Congressional Republicans on Sunday pleaded their case for releasing the classified, four-page memo, which was produced by staff for Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesRussia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election Gowdy: House Intel panel should release all transcripts from Russia probe MORE (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, based on classified documents provided by the Justice Department and FBI. The memo is said to contain allegations that senior FBI officials abused a surveillance program to target the Trump campaign last year.

Many Republicans want the memo to be released publicly, but the manner of its release, and whether it should be reviewed first by the administration, is a matter of dispute.

A report last week in CNN said Trump had been venting about Rosenstein and has made comments about wanting to remove him.

Four sources told the network that Trump in recent weeks maintained his frustration with Rosenstein, the No. 2 Justice Department official overseeing the federal Russia probe.

Rosenstein appointed Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE as the special counsel to lead the Russia probe after Trump in May fired former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFBI memos detail ‘partisan axes,’ secret conflicts behind the Russia election meddling assessment New grounds for impeachment? House Dem says Trump deserves it for making society worse Sessions gets unexpected support - from a Democrat who wants to impeach Trump MORE.

Updated at 7:58 a.m.