Lindsey Graham: Dossier ‘Has Proven To Be A Bunch Of Garbage’ [VIDEO]
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a top member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that the Steele dossier “has proven to be a bunch of garbage” and that the FBI has verified “almost none of it.”
Graham was commenting on the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC, in the wake of the Department of Justice’s release of FBI applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The four applications — an initial application and three renewals — show that the FBI relied heavily on the dossier to obtain the warrants. The dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele, claimed that Page met secretly with two sanctioned Kremlin insiders during a trip to Moscow in July 2016. Steele also accused Page of being the Trump campaign’s contact to the Russian government. (RELATED: DOJ Releases Carter Page FISA Applications)
Page has vehemently denied the allegations. On Sunday, President Donald Trump claimed on Twitter that the applications showed that the FBI “misled” the federal courts and that the government “illegally” spied on his campaign. (RELATED: Trump Sees ‘Illegal Spying’ After Carter Page FISA Released)
Graham said Sunday that he agrees with Trump’s assessment.
“I think the whole FISA warrant process needs to be looked at,” Graham said in an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“The warrant on Carter Page was supported mostly by a dossier that came from Michael [sic] Steele who was being paid by the Democratic party to do opposition research and the dossier was collected, I think, from Russian intelligence services and if you asked the FBI today, how much of the dossier on Trump has been verified, almost none of it.”
Asked whether he believes that the surveillance against Page was justified, Graham responded: “No, not at all in my view.”
“If the dossier is the reason you issued the warrant, it was a bunch of garbage. The dossier has proven to be a bunch of garbage,” he told host Margaret Brennan.
Republicans have questioned why the FBI relied on the dossier to obtain the spy warrants if Steele’s reporting had not been verified. The FISA applications show that the FBI deemed Steele to be “reliable” because information he had provided the bureau in the past was deemed to be “credible.”
Graham and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley have referred Steele to the Justice Department for possible criminal action for what they claim are inconsistent statements about his interactions with the media before the 2016 election.
Steele acknowledge in a London court case that in September and October 2016, he briefed reporters with several American news outlets regarding his Trump investigation. Two of those outlets, Yahoo! News and Mother Jones, published information provided by Steele.
The FBI terminated its relationship with Steele after he spoke with Mother Jones reporter David Corn. The FBI said in its three renewal applications that Steele violated an agreement that he not speak to the press about his investigation.