The FBI agent who was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in August, Peter Strzok, called President Donald Trump “awful” and an “idiot” during the presidential campaign, according to text messages provided to Congress and obtained by several news outlets.
Strzok was taken off of the Russia probe over the summer when an inspector general probe surfaced the text messages, but prior to his removal, he was reportedly involved in the FBI’s questioning of Michael Flynn. Previously, he had been involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Republicans have pounced on the revelation, arguing it shows bias on Mueller’s team, and Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said this week he would investigate the matter. Jay Sekulow, an outside attorney for Trump, has called for a second special counsel to investigate bias on Mueller’s team. However, some Republicans in the Senate appear to be skeptical of such a move.
The text messages sent to Congress reveal that Strzok exchanged several text messages with Lisa Page, an FBI agent who also worked on the Mueller probe at one point, about Trump and the 2016 election.
“I just saw my first Bernie Sanders bumper sticker. Made me want to key the car,” Page wrote to Strzok in August 2015, according to Politico.
“He’s an idiot like Trump. Figure they cancel each other out,” Strzok replied.
In a March 2016 exchange, Page called Trump a “loathsome human,” according to the Washington Post. In response, Strzok wrote, “Good for Hillary.’’
On Election Day, when it appeared Trump could win the presidency, Strzok texted Page, “OMG this is F*CKING TERRIFYING,’” according to the Washington Post.
Page did at one point express concern that she and Strzok were texting about politics, telling Strzok, “So look, you say we can text on that phone when we talk about Hillary because it cant be traced,” according to CBS News.