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

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinJake Tapper fact-checks poster Trump admin created describing Mueller investigation Jeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller 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 TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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 ClintonFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 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 NunesHouse Intelligence enjoys breakthrough with Justice Department House Intel postpones enforcement action after DOJ offer to share some Mueller files Roger Stone considers suing to discover if he was spied on by FBI 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 MuellerGraham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' House progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller MORE as the special counsel to lead the Russia probe after Trump in May fired former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump orders intel agencies to cooperate with Barr probe into 'spying' on 2016 campaign Attorney General Barr puts former intel bosses on notice Christopher Steele's nugget of fool's gold was easily disproven — but FBI didn't blink an eye MORE.

Updated at 7:58 a.m.