Within weeks of the FBI launching its investigation in 2016, agents obtained approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor the communications of Trump adviser Carter Page, who was already on the FBI’s radar after being targeted for recruitment as an intelligence source by Russian spies in a previous case, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

The allegations Steele laid out to the FBI in July 2016 in the dossier were shocking. They were salacious. And they were completely unverified by the U.S. government — at least at that point.

“Chris said he was very concerned about whether this represented a national security threat and said … he thought we were obligated to tell someone in government, in our government about this information,” Glenn Simpson, the man who hired Steele to conduct opposition research on Trump, told Senate staffers in a transcript released Tuesday. “He said he was professionally obligated to do it.”

The email brought about the now-infamous meeting at Trump Tower with Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya on June 9, 2016 — 11 days before Steele wrote his first report, and more than six weeks before Wikileaks would release a trove of emails stolen by Russian hackers from the DNC.

Nevertheless, Russians did offer business deals to Trump that he ultimately turned down.

Montoya called attacks like Jordan’s “particularly galling.”

In a Tweet early this morning, Trump described the dossier as “disproven and paid for by Democrats.”

“Fact is, I’ve opened many cases on the basis of information that was a lot less detailed than what was in the dossier, from sources a lot less reliable,” Montoya said. “That is the whole point of conducting an investigation … to determine if the information is valid, or not.”

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