The White House’s public schedule for Wednesday stated that President Donald Trump was set to receive his daily intelligence briefing at 11 a.m. ET.
It appears more likely, though, that Trump was watching Fox News: The channel covered newly released text messages between two FBI employees — messages which have become ready fodder for right-wing conspiracists — mere minutes before Trump raved about them to his nearly 50 million Twitter followers.
NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2018
“More revelations today from the text message chain between FBI Agent Peter Strzok and his then-lover, FBI Attorney Lisa page,” Fox News’ John Roberts reported at 11:03 a.m. ET.
The network has obsessed over the texts, noting in a report early Wednesday that the FBI employees both worked at one point for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The texts come from the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), which noted in a statement upon their release Wednesday that an accompanying report “raises serious questions about how the FBI applied the rule of law in its investigation” of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Roberts picked a few to read, out of context, on air: “potus wants to know everything we’re doing,” (pp. 356), a comment on the emails found on Anthony Weiner’s computer (pp. 390), the pair’s lamentations on Election Day — “OMG THIS IS F*CKING TERRIFYING,” “Omg, I am so depressed” — (pp. 437-438), and Page’s note that “we have OUR task ahead of us” (pp. 440).
“It raises questions as to why these text messages disappeared for so long. Was it innocuous, was it something else?” Fox News’ Jon Scott said before moving on.
This post has been updated.