Responding to reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has reluctantly agreed to testify next month in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, President Donald Trump went on a scathing tear against him Wednesday morning, going so far as to suggest he’d committed a crime.
His chief concern was with the anti-Trump text messages that disgraced former FBI special agent Peter Strzok and disgraced former FBI lawyer Lisa Page had exchanged.
Flash back to last December, when the Office of the Inspector General released a shocking report revealing that 19,000+ of the duo’s text messages had been deleted.
Though the media made nary a mention of it, the OIG confirmed that the messages were deleted when an unnamed member of Mueller’s office reset Strzok and Page’s government-issued phones.
The president responded at the time with outrage:
Wow, 19,000 Texts between Lisa Page and her lover, Peter S of the FBI, in charge of the Russia Hoax, were just reported as being wiped clean and gone. Such a big story that will never be covered by the Fake News. Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018
So where are all the missing Text messages between fired FBI agents Peter S and the lovely Lisa Page, his lover. Just reported that they have been erased and wiped clean. What an outrage as the totally compromised and conflicted Witch Hunt moves ever so slowly forward. Want them!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
Six months later, it appears the president is still angry about this.
“Wait till you see the rest of their [messages]!” he exclaimed Wednesday morning to Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo. “Here’s the problem: Robert Mueller, they worked for him, and two lovers were together and they had texts back-and-forth, e-mail back-and-forth.”
“Mueller terminated them illegally. He terminated the emails, he terminated all stuff between Strzok and Page, you know, they sung like you’ve never seen. Robert Mueller terminated their text messages together, he terminated them. They’re gone! And that’s illegal! That is a crime!”
Listen to the relevant portion of the interview below, via FBN’s “Mornings with Maria“:
To be clear, the OIG report did not accuse Mueller of deleting the texts. Nor did it conclude that the resetting of Strzok and Page’s phones had been conducted for nefarious reasons.
“[T]his iPhone had been reset to factory settings and was reconfigured for the new user to whom the device was issued. It did not contain data related to Strzok’s use of the device,” the report said of Strzok’s phone in particular.
The report added that an unidentified member of Mueller’s had team reset the disgraced former agent’s phone after reviewing it and reportedly “determin[ing] it contained no substantive text messages.”
But the fact that Mueller team’s reset the phone of a guy “who was fired for wrong doing, due to his text messages, and criminally [referred] by the DOJ OIG” did not sit well with some:
Strzok was a senior agent in the FBI National Security Branch who was fired for wrong doing, due to his text messages, and criminally reffered by the DOJ OIG.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) December 13, 2018
It did however explain why the OIG had been unable to locate any text messages from Dec. 13, 2016, to May 17, 2017, the day that Mueller was appointed special counsel.
What’s notable about this discovery is that it contradicted the FBI’s claims. When the OIG first realized that five months of messages were missing, the bureau reportedly blamed the discrepancy on an alleged technical glitch that affected the phones’ message retention system.
The OIG’s report seemingly disproved this claim, though it stopped short of explicitly noting so. What remains unclear is whether the FBI had merely been mistaken or had purposefully lied.
Even more troubling to many — particularly on social media — was the timing aspect. Because the messages reappeared the day Mueller was assigned, some wondered if his very assignment had been part of Strzok and Page’s “insurance policy” against the president.
Continuing the discussion Wednesday, Bartiromo asked Trump if there will ever be any accountability.
“It will be, and the Republicans know it,” he said, likely referencing Attorney General Bill Barr’s investigation into the origins of the highly suspect Russia probe.
“I had the worst things said about me, that I am a spy,” Trump said of the probe.
“Because the media went along with it, almost half the country still believes that there is collusion,” Bartiromo concurred. “That is how significant it was, because the media just, you know, just relayed what your enemies were saying.”
“The media is crooked,” Trump replied. “Much of the media is dishonest, and much of the media is absolutely stone-cold crooked. And I blame the media more than I blame the Democrats.”
In fairness to the Democrats, at least they’re open about how much they loath the president. The media meanwhile feign impartiality, all while they act in such glaringly biased and partisan ways.
And sadly, it appears the same can be said of the operatives within the Justice Department, including possibly even Robert Mueller, who purport to be objective seekers of the truth, but whose actions always, always, always benefit one political side over another.
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