President Donald Trump on Saturday continued to try to capitalize on the Justice Department’s internal watchdog report on the department’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe in an attempt to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“The IG Report totally destroys James Comey and all of his minions including the great lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who started the disgraceful Witch Hunt against so many innocent people,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning, adding, “It will go down as a dark and dangerous period in American History!”
The President has previously said that the Justice Department inspector general’s report is a “total disaster” for the former FBI chief, whom he fired in May of last year.
The report, released Thursday, called Comey’s actions in the Hillary Clinton email investigation “extraordinary and insubordinate” and flouted the department’s norms, but concluded that Comey was not motivated by political bias.
The report also criticized FBI agent Strzok and former FBI lawyer Page, who were having an affair, for exchanging anti-Trump text messages that “cast a cloud” over the credibility of the investigation, but found no evidence “that these political views directly affected the specific investigative decisions that we reviewed.”
As a leading counterintelligence expert, Strzok was involved in opening the investigation into ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia. Mueller removed Strzok from his team last year after an internal investigation uncovered the texts. Page, who resigned in May, briefly served on Mueller’s team, but she returned to her duties at the FBI before the special counsel’s office was made aware of the texts.
The President on Friday took issue with the report’s conclusion.
“The end result was wrong. There was total bias,” Trump told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” adding that “it was a pretty good report,” but the “IG blew it at the very end.”
He also claimed that the report “totally exonerates me” although the report did not address Mueller’s investigation into any possible links or coordination between Russia and Trump campaign associated.