Rubio pushes back on Trump: DOJ didn't do anything wrong with Carter Page surveillance

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBreak glass in case of emergency — but not for climate change Democrats join GOP in pressuring Biden over China, virus origins Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand foreign aid partnerships MORE (R-Fla.) on Sunday argued that the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) warrants to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were justified.

Rubio, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said he has a “different view” than President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE, who earlier Sunday claimed that newly released DOJ documents prove his campaign was being illegally spied upon.

“I don’t believe that them looking into Carter Page means they were spying on the campaign. I also don’t believe it proves anything about collusion,” Rubio said. “He was a guy that was on their screen even before the campaign.”

ADVERTISEMENT

"I don’t think it’s part of any broader plot. The only plot here is the plot to interfere in our election by the Russians,” he added.

The Justice Department late Saturday released documents related to surveillance warrants on Page. The materials laid out, in part, the FBI’s belief that Page had established relationships and was potentially collaborating with Russian government officials. 

The heavily redacted materials indicated that the FBI “believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government … to undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law.”

The DOJ released the materials after months of furor on Capitol Hill over the matter, which is likely to continue.

Republicans have repeatedly claimed that the surveillance warrants relied on the so-called Steele dossier, which partly contains salacious and unfounded allegations about Trump’s ties to Russia. GOP lawmakers also asserted that the DOJ did not properly disclose the origin of the dossier to the judges signing off on the warrant.

However, Rubio noted on Sunday that Page had spoken openly about his connections to Russia, and that he became a person of interest when he came into contact with the Trump campaign.

“I don’t think they did anything wrong,” Rubio said, referring to the Justice Department. “There was a lot of reasons unrelated to the dossier why they wanted to look at Carter Page.”