Fox News host Dana Perino on Thursday night called for congressional hearings to be taken off-camera following a wild hearing with FBI agent Peter Strzok earlier in the day.
Perino slammed Democrats for an "outrageous" suggestion Strzok deserved a Purple Heart and scolded Republicans for "overboard" questions that "felt like a public lynching" during Strzok's testimony to the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees.
The comments from the former George W. Bush press secretary came after Strzok's testimony dominated headlines and broadcast news on Thursday. Strzok, who was testifying on Capitol Hill under subpoena, is accused of anti-Trump bias by President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE and Republicans. Anti-Trump text messages he sent during an investigation in 2016 were revealed in a highly anticipated report from the Justice Department's internal watchdog last month.
Strzok faced several heated exchanges during the day's questioning from the GOP while being lauded by members of the Democratic side for his defense of the FBI.
“I did think it was quite odd that you had the one congressman on the Democratic side said he wanted to give Peter Strzok a Purple Heart, which is outrageous. That’s disgusting, actually, to suggest, given what the Purple Heart is actually for," Perino said on "The Five."
Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenOmar leads lawmakers in calling for US envoy to combat Islamophobia Trump says being impeached twice didn't change him: 'I became worse' Five big questions about the Jan. 6 select committee MORE (D-Tenn.) said he felt Strzok deserved a Purple Heart for enduring aggressive questioning from the Republicans during the hearing.
"Mr. Strzok, I don't know where to start," Cohen said at the beginning of his allotted five minutes. "If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would. You deserve one."
Perino, who also hosts "The Daily Briefing" at 2 p.m. on the network, took Republicans, and specifically Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertRepublicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Security forces under pressure to prevent repeat of Jan. 6 Washington ramps up security ahead of Sept. 18 rally MORE (R-Texas), to task for asking Strzok about the affair he was having with Lisa Page, a former FBI lawyer. The text messages were sent between the two while working at the agency.
“Several Republicans, including Louie Gohmert, I will say, went way overboard. It felt like a public lynching. And I thought it was terrible. You know what they should do with these hearings? And I know we’re in television, so maybe we don’t want to say this, they should not be on camera. They should be on the record.”
Gohmert hit Strzok with highly personal questions on Thursday, which included questions about how many times he looked "innocently into [his] wife's eyes" while having an affair Page.
“I can’t help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk — how many times did you look so innocently into your wife’s eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?” Gohmert asked.
"The credibility of the witness is always an issue," he said in defense of the remark after boos from Democratic members in the chamber.
“You need your medication,” Rep. Bonnie Watson ColemanBonnie Watson ColemanDemocratic anger grows over treatment of Haitian migrants Lobbying world Democrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement MORE (D-N.J.) shouted at Gohmert.
Strzok was defiant throughout his testimony, stating that his 2016 anti-Trump texts, which called the then-candidate "horrible" and "disgusting" while telling Page "We'll stop him," were not indicative of bias and insisting that in no way had his personal feelings affected the way he conducted his investigations.
“The proposition that [bias] 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 said.