CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tried to downplay former FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s anti-Trump bias, and said his text messages with FBI lawyer Lisa Page were no big deal on “CNN Newsroom” Tuesday.
Host Poppy Harlow put several text messages between Strzok and Page on the screen that discussed the 2016 presidential election and disparaged then-candidate Donald Trump.
“So what? What does that tell you?” Toobin asked, shrugging off the controversy. “I mean, yes, the fact that this investigation was going on in the middle of a presidential campaign, everybody knew that. Obviously, they had to resolve it. This idea that FBI agents can’t acknowledge what’s going on in the real world. I read those text messages and I think, so what?”
Special counsel Robert Mueller dismissed Strzok, the former deputy to the assistant director of counterintelligence, his legal team investigating Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election for texting anti-Trump sentiments with Page. Strzok was having an extramarital affair with Page.
Strzok also changed then-FBI Director James Comey’s report on Hillary Clinton to say she was “extremely careless” instead of “grossly negligent” with her private email server.
Host John Berman asked Toobin if it was suspicious to have lost six months worth of texts between Strzok and Page, but Toobin dodged the question and said there should be an investigation.
“Let’s see. There can be an investigation of why these text messages disappeared. We all worked in big bureaucracies, Stuff gets lost. It happens in law enforcement,” Toobin said. “If there was someone who got rid of these text messages for some sinister reason, that we should know. If they disappeared just in the normal course of business, we should know that, too.”
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