Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Sunday denounced as “a bunch of garbage” the controversial dossier used by the Department of Justice and FBI to get a warrant to conduct surveillance of ex-Trump aide Carter Page.
In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the warrant wasn’t justified in Page’s case, arguing “the whole FISA warrant process needs to be looked at” by Congress.
“The main reason [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court] issued the warrant was the dossier prepared by [Christopher] Steele,” he said, but that the DOJ and FBI “never told the court he was a paid operative of the Democratic Party. The substance of the dossier to this day is a bunch of garbage.”
Still, Graham said President Donald Trump gets “confused” by the Russian interference in the U.S. election, and the FISA warrant focused on whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.
“I haven't seen any evidence of [collusion] but I think the president gets this confused,” he said. If you suggest that Russians meddled in 2016, [Trump] goes to the idea that, ‘well, I didn't collude with them.’
“But Mr. President, they meddled in the elections and they stole [former Democratic National Committee chairman John] Podesta's emails and hacked into the DNC. It could be us next and some other power, not just Russia.”
Graham also decried the missteps by Trump after his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including whether Trump supports the nation’s intelligence community.
“He has changed his mind four times this week,” Graham said. “I am glad that he is willing to walk things back and say he misspoke if it makes us stronger… President Trump at least is willing to change.
“But what I think he needs to do is lead this nation to make sure the 2018 election is protected and he needs to be the leader of the movement, [and] not brought to the dance reluctantly.”
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