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GOP lawmaker calls for 'purge' of FBI

Rep. Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC A party of ideas, not a cult of personality Growing number of House Republicans warm to proxy voting MORE (R-Fla.) on Tuesday called for a "purge" of the FBI, warning of "deep state" figures at work in the agency.

Rooney said during an interview on MSNBC that the American people have "very high standards" for the country's government agencies, and suggested they aren't being met.

He was pressed during the interview on whether he is trying to discredit the Department of Justice, and by extension the investigation into Russia's election interference. 

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"I don't want to discredit them. I would like to see the directors of those agencies purge it," he replied.

"And say, look, we've got a lot of great agents, a lot of great lawyers here, those are the people that I want the American people to see and know the good works being done, not these people who are kind of the deep state."

When pressed further he specifically mentioned Peter Strzok, a top FBI agent who worked on the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of State.

Stzok had been a member of special counsel Robert Mueller's team, but was removed this summer over text messages he sent that were critical of President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE

Mueller's team is investigating Russia's efforts to interfere in the election, including whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

This past weekend, Trump lashed out at FBI leadership, going after FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe over donations that Democrats made to his wife’s political campaign.

Trump's attack Saturday came after a report that McCabe is retiring from the FBI amid mounting criticism from Republicans in Congress.

The president has stepped up his attacks on the FBI in recent weeks, saying earlier this month that the bureau’s reputation was “in tatters.”