Marco Rubio breaks with Trump: FBI 'did not spy' on president's campaign

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on Sunday he doesn’t believe the FBI “spied” on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, as Trump and his allies have repeatedly claimed.

Rubio disputed Trump’s characterization during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, saying that FBI investigators were justified in their October 2016 wiretapping of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser. The agents, it has been learned, had reason to believe Russia had sought to recruit Page as part of the scheme to subvert the presidential election. 

“I don’t think they did anything wrong,” Rubio said of the FBI efforts. “I think they went to the court. They got the judges to approve it. They laid out all the information ― and there was a lot of reasons... for why they wanted to look at Carter Page.”

The Justice Department released a trove of documents on Saturday that included the FBI’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications to surveil Page.

RELATED: Former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page

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One-time advisor of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump Carter Page addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow, Russia, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
One-time advisor of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump Carter Page addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow, Russia, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
One-time advisor of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump Carter Page addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow, Russia, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: Carter Page, walks away after speaking to the media after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee conducting an investigation into Russia's tampering in the 2016 election. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 12, 2016: Carter Page, Global Energy Capital LLC Managing Partner and a former foreign policy adviser to U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump, makes a presentation titled ' Departing from Hypocrisy: Potential Strategies in the Era of Global Economic Stagnation, Security Threats and Fake News' during his visit to Moscow. Artyom Korotayev/TASS (Photo by Artyom Korotayev\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, speaks to the media after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee conducting an investigation into Russia's tampering in the 2016 election. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 12, 2016: Carter Page, Global Energy Capital LLC Managing Partner and a former foreign policy adviser to U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump, makes a presentation titled ' Departing from Hypocrisy: Potential Strategies in the Era of Global Economic Stagnation, Security Threats and Fake News' during his visit to Moscow. Artyom Korotayev/TASS (Photo by Artyom Korotayev\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, speaks to the media after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee conducting an investigation into Russia's tampering in the 2016 election. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Carter Page arrives at the courthouse on the same day as a hearing regarding Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer and confidante for President Donald Trump, at the United States District Court Southern District of New York, April 16, 2018 in New York City. Cohen and lawyers representing President Trump are asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to Cohen's relationship with President Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - George Stephanopoulos interviews Carter Page, former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump's 2016 Presidential campaign, on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, February 6, 2018, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CARTER PAGE
The Republican memo released by Congress is displayed on a journalist's computer screen at a newsroom in Washington DC, on February 2, 2018. The US Congress released a Republican memo alleging that the FBI abused its power to spy on President Donald Trump's election campaign. Based on classified materials, the four-page memo claims that the FBI used an unsubstantiated, Democratic-funded research report to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump advisor Carter Page, who had extensive russian contacts. 'I think it's terrible. I think it's a disgrace what's going on in this country,' Trump said of the memo's contents. / AFP PHOTO / Eric BARADAT (Photo credit should read ERIC BARADAT/AFP/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - George Stephanopoulos interviews Carter Page, former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump's 2016 Presidential campaign, on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, February 6, 2018, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CARTER PAGE
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - George Stephanopoulos interviews Carter Page, former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump's 2016 Presidential campaign, on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, February 6, 2018, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) CARTER PAGE
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: Carter Page, walks away after speaking to the media after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee conducting an investigation into Russia's tampering in the 2016 election. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, speaks to the media after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee conducting an investigation into Russia's tampering in the 2016 election. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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“The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government... to undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law,” according to the documents.

Page has repeatedly denied being a Russia agent. Appearing on Tapper’s “State of the Union” program before Rubio, he said he had once served as an “informal” adviser to the Kremlin, but that it was “totally unreasonable” to say he may have been unwittingly working with Russians during the ’16 campaign.

In a series of tweets Sunday, Trump claimed the previously classified documents released by the Justice Department showed that it and the and FBI “misled the courts” and that his campaign “was illegally being spied upon.”

But Rubio, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, steadfastly disagreed with Trump on the FBI’s FISA warrants and surveillance of Page.

“I have a different view on this issue than the president and the White House,” he said on CBS’ “Face The Nation,” also on Sunday. “They did not spy on the campaign from anything and everything that I have seen. You have an individual here [Page] who has openly bragged about his ties to Russia and Russians.”

“Yes, they were looking into this one individual ― but an individual the campaign themselves said was not a big part of their efforts,” he continued. “Therefore I wouldn’t consider that spying on a campaign.”

Rubio was among the many Republicans that Trump defeated in the race for the party’s presidential nomination two years ago. 

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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