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

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' Mueller rejoins DC law firm Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it 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 TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report 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 ClintonSaagar Enjeti: Tuesday's Democratic debate already 'rigged' against Gabbard, Sanders Ilhan Omar raises .1 million in third quarter Bloomberg rethinking running for president: report 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 Nunes10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable A Republican Watergate veteran's perspective on a Trump impeachment Meet the lawyer at center of whistleblower case: 'It is an everyday adventure' 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) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE as the special counsel to lead the Russia probe after Trump in May fired former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyComey says he has a 'fantasy' about deleting his Twitter account after end of Trump term We need answers to questions mainstream media won't ask about Democrats Trump 'constantly' discusses using polygraphs to stem leaks: report MORE.

Updated at 7:58 a.m.