Carter Page, a former adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Screengrab: CNN

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The FBI was convinced that a former campaign adviser to US President Donald Trump was “collaborating” with Russia as it conspired to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, reveal top-secret documents released to the US media.

Trump hit back on Sunday, characterizing the wiretapping of his adviser as part of an “illegal” and partisan plot because the federal law-enforcement agency partly relied on information gleaned from Democrat-funded research when seeking a warrant, AFP reported.

The October 2016 warrant application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court named Carter Page, a foreign affairs expert, according to the documents published by The New York Times. The Justice Department released the heavily redacted documents after newspapers filed Freedom of Information Act requests.

“The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government,” the initial FBI application states. After a blacked-out section, it continues: “…undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in violation of US criminal law.”

Lower down, the document adds: “The FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.”

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