1518538834272 11 - Trump blasts Strzok for ducking questions on Capitol Hill

Trump blasts Strzok for ducking questions on Capitol Hill

Politics

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on the text messages exchanged between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on the text messages exchanged between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

President Trump on Thursday blasted FBI agent Peter Strzok for refusing to answer “many questions” in his closed-door grilling on Capitol Hill a day earlier. 

“Lover FBI Agent Peter Strzok was given poor marks on yesterday’s closed door testimony and, according to most report, refused to answer many questions. There was no Collusion and the Witch Hunt, headed by 13 Angry Democrats and other who are totally conflicted, is Rigged!” Trump tweeted early Thursday.

Lover FBI Agent Peter Strzok was given poor marks on yesterday’s closed door testimony and, according to most reports, refused to answer many questions. There was no Collusion and the Witch Hunt, headed by 13 Angry Democrats and others who are totally conflicted, is Rigged!

The president’s tweet comes after Strzok’s hours-long closed-door testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. It was his first congressional appearance following revelations of numerous anti-Trump messages he exchanged with bureau colleague Lisa Page during the 2016 presidential campaign. Strzok and Page were romantically involved.

Trump’s mention of the “13 Angry Democrats” is in reference to attorneys and investigators on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Thirteen of 17 investigators have registered as Democrats. Mueller, though, is said to be a lifelong Republican and served as FBI director under former Republican President George W. Bush.

As revealed in the recent DOJ inspector general report, the messages between Strzok and Page included one in which Strzok vowed to “stop” Trump from becoming president.

But a spokeswoman for House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said Strzok did not answer many questions he was asked Wednesday.

“Today Peter Strzok appeared before our Committees to answer questions regarding his actions while leading the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Unfortunately, FBI counsel ordered Mr. Strzok not to answer many of the legitimate questions he was asked,” Kathryn Rexrode said in a statement to Fox News Wednesday. “We intend to hold a public hearing soon. I hope he will be more forthcoming at that time.”

“There are still a lot of unanswered questions on who knew what when,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told reporters on the Hill during a break from the hearing Wednesday. “And as it related to this particular investigation, what was the genesis of the Russia collusion investigation?”

Meadows said that “new information has come out,” but did not share specifics. While it is unclear what specifically was learned in the confidential hearing, a GOP source told Fox News that most GOP members have focused on the Russia investigation and how Strzok relates to the beginning of that probe.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed last week that he is investigating whether Strzok’s anti-Trump bias factored into the launch of the FBI’s Russia investigation.

Strzok, 48, appeared before the committee voluntarily, despite being issued a subpoena over the weekend. 

Strzok, who was escorted from his FBI office last week in what bureau veterans have described as an “extraordinary” step, has been under scrutiny for months over the series of politically charged text messages exchanged with Page, who left the bureau in May.

Both were assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election. Page’s assignment ended in July 2017. Strzok was removed from the team later in 2017 following revelations of his anti-Trump text messages.

Minutes later, Trump suggested that Strzok took “orders” from former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, further suggesting that Comey and Mueller are “best friends.” 

“Peter Strzok worked as the leader of the Rigged Witch Hunt for a long period of time – he got it started and was only fired because the gig was up. But remember, he took his orders from Comey and McCabe and they took their orders from you know who. Mueller/Comey best friends!” Trump tweeted. 

Peter Strzok worked as the leader of the Rigged Witch Hunt for a long period of time – he got it started and was only fired because the gig was up. But remember, he took his orders from Comey and McCabe and they took their orders from you know who. Mueller/Comey best friends!

The inspector general’s report, released earlier this month, noted that it was specifically concerned about text messages exchanged between FBI officials Strzok and Page that “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”

“I don’t know how any reasonable person reads the texts and would suggest there was no bias,” Meadows told reporters. “None of my concerns about political bias have been alleviated based on what I’ve heard so far.”

But the inspector general ultimately found no evidence that the anti-Trump bias among several FBI agents impacted prosecutorial decisions in the Clinton email probe.

Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election! Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t Shady James Comey and the now disgraced FBI agents take and closely examine it? Why isn’t Hillary/Russia being looked at? So many questions, so much corruption!

Trump also tweeted Thursday morning questioning why former FBI Director James Comey and other “disgraced” bureau officials did not “closely examine” Russian meddling during the election—further questioning why Hillary Clinton’s Russia ties are not investigated.

“Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election! Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t Shady James Comey and the now disgraced FBI agents take and closely examine it? Why isn’t Hillary/Russia being looked at? So many questions, so much corruption!” Trump tweeted.

The president’s tweet comes amid planning for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Fox News’ John Roberts and Chad Pergram contributed to this report. 

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.