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Trump threatens to 'get involved' in watchdog group's efforts to obtain McCabe text messages

Trump threatens to 'get involved' in watchdog group's efforts to obtain McCabe text messages
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE on Saturday criticized the FBI for not turning over former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeJohn Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Carter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe McCabe defends investigation of Trump before Senate committee: We had 'many reasons' MORE’s text messages to right-leaning watchdog group Judicial Watch.

The group is pursuing the texts through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Justice Department, seeking communications and text messages from a number of current and former FBI officials.

The president threatened in a misspelled tweet to “get involved” in the effort, and warned the FBI not to “destroy” the items. 

“Why isn’t the FBI giving Andrew McCabe text massages to Judicial Watch or appropriate governmental authorities,” he tweeted, later correcting the misspelling with a new tweet about "text messages."

“FBI said they won’t give up even one (I may have to get involved, DO NOT DESTROY). What are they hiding? McCabe wife took big campaign dollars from Hillary people," he continued.

“Will the FBI ever recover it’s once stellar reputation, so badly damaged by Comey, McCabe, Peter S and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, and other top officials now dismissed or fired?” he added in a second tweet. “So many of the great men and women of the FBI have been hurt by these clowns and losers!”

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The tweet also referenced former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyWray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Trump DOJ officials sought to block search of Giuliani records: report MORE, and FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who exchanged anti-Trump text messages that the president has repeatedly cited as evidence of bias in the agency.

McCabe is referenced in Strzok and Page's communication as "Andy," which has conservatives anxious to see what McCabe may have said in his own texts to colleagues.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the FBI over the probe — which McCabe, Strzok and Page worked on — into Russia's election meddling and possible collusion, which he often refers to as a “witch hunt." Along with other GOP lawmakers, he has accused the agency of political bias in its handling of a number of investigations. Strzok and Page are seen as evidence of that bias.

Judicial Watch has been seeking McCabe's messages for months, and ramped up the effort after he was fired in March. The watchdog organization is particularly interested in his communication with Comey.

A judge on Monday ordered the Justice Department to preserve any emails located on Comey's email account in response to the group's most recent FOIA request.

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief Manchin flexes muscle in 50-50 Senate Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' MORE fired McCabe earlier this year for failure to be "candid" in an investigation and leaking to the media, just days before he was set to retire from the bureau.