Trump pressed Sessions to fire FBI agents who sent anti-Trump texts: report

Trump pressed Sessions to fire FBI agents who sent anti-Trump texts: report
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE questioned both Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSupreme Court blocks order that relaxed voting restrictions in Alabama Justice Dept. considering replacing outgoing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr deputy: report Tuberville campaign bus catches fire in Alabama MORE and FBI Director Christopher Wray over why two FBI officials were still at their jobs after it was revealed they sent text messages critical of the president during the campaign.

Vox reported Friday that Trump earlier this year asked his attorney general and FBI director why agent Peter Strzok and counsel Lisa Page were still employed by the bureau. In a meeting alone with Sessions, Trump reportedly pushed for their dismissal, Vox reported.

Texts between Strzok and Page from 2016 were revealed last December, months after the two were removed from the team of investigators under special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE.

ADVERTISEMENT

The two FBI officials repeatedly disparaged Trump in the days surrounding the 2016 presidential election while working on the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats try to turn now into November The Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump On The Trail: Trump, coronavirus fuel unprecedented voter enthusiasm MORE's use of a private email server, including in a text from Strzok to Page after Trump's victory that read: “OMG I am so depressed.”

“I don’t know if I can eat. I am very nauseous," Page replied.

The two, who were at the time involved in an extramarital affair, also were revealed to have texted similar negative messages aimed at Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' MORE (I-Vt.) and Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president.

Trump and his allies have pointed to the texts as evidence of blatant favoritism among FBI agents involved in high-profile investigations. Strzok briefly served as Mueller's top agent on the Trump probe, while Page also worked for the special counsel's office as an attorney.

"NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!" the president tweeted in February after texts revealed the two wrote that then-President Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing.”

“A man is tweeting to his lover that if [Clinton] loses, we’ll essentially do the insurance policy,” Trump said in a Wall Street Journal interview the month before. “'We’ll go to phase two and we’ll get this guy out of office.'”

“This is the FBI we’re talking about — that is treason,” Trump continued. “That is a treasonous act. What he tweeted to his lover is a treasonous act.”

In the meetings Vox reported on, the president reportedly also asked the Justice Department to devote more resources to turning over documents requested by the House Judiciary Committee in its ongoing probe of possible FBI mismanagement of the Clinton email probe and Trump/Russia investigation.