CNN political director: Strzok's claim that Trump texts aren't biased 'flat wrong on its face'

CNN political director David Chalian said Thursday that FBI agent Peter Strzok's assertion that anti-Trump texts he sent in 2016 do not indicate bias "is just flat wrong on its face."

Chalian was referring to a text exchange between Strzok and then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was reportedly having an affair, in which Strzok called then-candidate Donald Trump's behavior "horrible" and "disgusting." 

"[Y]ou should put nothing in text or e-mail that you are not comfortable seeing on the front page of The New York Times or on CNN’s banner," Chalian said during an interview on the network Thursday.


Chalian's remarks come the same day Strzok faced off with GOP members of the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees. Strzok, who is testifying on Capitol Hill under subpoena, faced several heated exchanges during the day's questioning.

"Strzok’s mission today is try to walk this line of ‘I have personal political views, it didn’t impact my work at all,'" Chalian said. "That may be true, but when he says that those texts, quote, 'not indicative of bias' — that’s just flat wrong on its face. It is indicative of bias."

Strzok was accused of anti-Trump bias by President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence MORE and his Republican allies after the text messages came to light in a highly anticipated report from the Justice Department's internal watchdog last month. The watchdog concluded that it had no evidence bias affected the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference Comey in op-ed after IG report: 'Barr needs to stop acting like a Trump spokesperson' Trump tops list of most tweeted about politicians in 2019 MORE’s private email server.

"I understand his point is, ‘Well, that bias didn’t infiltrate into my work, into my conduct in the professional capacity,’ but you can understand why, when you look at the language of those texts, that it’s very easy to point to a bias that this FBI agent was expressing," Chalian continued.

When asked by Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Conway spars with Wallace on whether White House will cooperate with impeachment inquiry after formal vote Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE (R-S.C.) if the Trump texts were biased, Strzok responded, “I do not think that bias was expressed in those text messages.”

“At no time, in any of these texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took,” Strzok later said, noting that “multiple layers” of other FBI agents would not have allowed any “improper behavior.”

“They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me anymore than I would tolerate it in them," he said. "That is who we are as the FBI, and the suggestion that I, in some dark chamber somewhere in the FBI, would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards, and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me."

“The proposition that that is going on and that might occur anywhere in the FBI deeply corrodes what the FBI is in American society, the effectiveness of their mission, and it is deeply destructive,” Strzok added. 

Trump weighed in on Twitter during his departure from a NATO meeting in Brussels on Thursday, slamming Page for "dodging a subpoena" to avoid being grilled by the House committees. In the same tweet, he goaded his attorney general, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSenate Democrats demand Trump fire Stephen Miller The shifting impeachment positions of Jonathan Turley Rosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes MORE

"As I head out to a very important NATO meeting, I see that FBI Lover/Agent Lisa Page is dodging a Subpoena & is refusing to show up and testify. What can she possibly say about her statements and lies. So much corruption on the other side. Where is the Attorney General?"

Page agreed Thursday to meet with Congress behind closed doors on Friday