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Text messages between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page indicate they discussed using briefings to the Trump team after the 2016 election to identify people they could “develop for potential relationships,” track lines of questioning and “assess” changes in “demeanor” – language one GOP lawmaker called “more evidence” of irregular conduct in the original Russia probe.
Fox News has learned the texts, initially released in 2018 by a Senate committee, are under renewed scrutiny, with GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley and Homeland Security Committee chair Ron Johnson sending a letter Thursday night to Attorney General Bill Barr pushing for more information on the matter.
FBI - Surveillance - Activities - Election - Light
“Any improper FBI surveillance activities that were conducted before or after the 2016 election must be brought to light and properly addressed,” the senators wrote.
President Trump, speaking to Fox News’ “Hannity” Thursday night, responded to this report by unloading on Strzok and Page.
Administration - Trump - Host - Sean - Hannity
“They were trying to infiltrate the administration,” Trump told host Sean Hannity. “Really, it’s a coup. It’s spying. It’s hard to believe in this country we would have had that.” Trump called the news “very disconcerting,” and emphasized that the Justice Department’s watchdog previously faulted Strzok’s communications with Page.
The text messages begin on the evening of Nov. 17 — nine days after the election. The string discusses an email and briefing to “Pence,” presumably Vice President-elect Mike Pence – and appears to refer to another upcoming briefing.
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The messages show Strzok and Page debating staffing for the upcoming briefing and whether it would make sense to stay with the same agent or send a different one. It is unclear from the texts whether these were part of the formal transition-period briefings between outgoing or incoming administrations or routine intelligence briefings.
“Re above re email, it might be more important for (redacted) to know that (redacted) briefed Pence,...
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