In this Feb. 2, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with North Korean defectors where he talked with reporters about allowing the release of a secret memo on the FBI's role in the Russia inquiry. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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President Donald Trump on Saturday claimed complete vindication from a congressional memo that alleges the FBI abused its surveillance powers during the investigation into his campaign's possible Russia ties.The four-page document released Friday contends that the FBI, when it applied for a surveillance warrant on a onetime Trump campaign associate, relied excessively on an ex-British spy whose opposition research was funded by Democrats. The warrant authorizing the FBI to monitor the communications of former campaign adviser Carter Page was not a one-time request, but was approved by a judge on four occasions, the memo says, and even signed off on by the second-ranking official at the Justice Department, Rod Rosenstein, whom Trump appointed as deputy attorney general.Beyond that, though, the memo confirms the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign began in July 2016, months before the surveillance warrant was sought, and was "triggered" by information concerning campaign aide George Papadopoulos. He pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with Mueller's investigation.The memo's release also comes amid an effort by Trump and congressional Republicans to discredit Mueller's investigation.
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