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

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week 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 TrumpRonny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign McCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel MORE's ties to Russia.

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

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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 ClintonBiden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Shontel Brown gaining ground against Nina Turner in Ohio: poll Biden hits trail for McAuliffe in test of his political brand 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 NunesSunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe Lawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection Tucker Carlson claims NSA leaked private emails to journalists 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 (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE as the special counsel to lead the Russia probe after Trump in May fired former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyBiden sister has book deal, set to publish in April Mystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records NYT publisher: DOJ phone records seizure a 'dangerous incursion' on press freedom MORE.

Updated at 7:58 a.m.