The FBI used a document containing allegations of ties between President Donald Trump and Russia as part of its justification for obtaining an order in 2016 to monitor the communications of Carter Page, a former adviser to Trump’s campaign, CNN reported on Tuesday.
CNN cited unnamed U.S. officials briefed on the investigation, two of whom said the agency used the document to obtain approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Page’s communications.
The dossier, which BuzzFeed published in January, remains largely unsubstantiated. CNN reported in February, however, that multiple unnamed U.S. intelligence sources had corroborated some communications detailed in the document.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that unnamed officials familiar with the process of obtaining a FISA warrant said that the FBI would only include information from the dossier in its application after corroborating that data through its own investigation.
The Washington Post reported last week that the FBI obtained a warrant from the FISA court to monitor Page’s communications after arguing that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as a Russian agent.
Page told TPM that the FBI was “unjustified” in doing so, and has conducted a string of interviews in an attempt to downplay his interactions with the Russian ambassador to the United States as well as Russian officials, the Russian ambassador to the United States and Russian intelligence operatives.
Those conversations tend to raise more questions than they answer, and Trump’s team has tried to distance itself from Page.