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 John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE on Saturday criticized the FBI for not turning over former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeTrump accuses Hillary Clinton of 'destroying the lives' of his campaign staffers The Mueller report concludes it was not needed Ten post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators 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 ComeyAttorney General Barr puts former intel bosses on notice Christopher Steele's nugget of fool's gold was easily disproven — but FBI didn't blink an eye Clash with Trump marks latest break with GOP leaders for Justin Amash 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 SessionsJeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general House Democrats leave empty chair for McGahn at hearing MSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump 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.