President Donald Trump is having quite the day on Twitter. After announcing the resignation of his embattled Interior secretary and blasting the “dishonest” media, the president took aim at the “Russia Hoax.”
Referring to a recent Department of Justice inspector general report into attempts to recover text messages sent by former FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok—both of whom worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation—Trump wrote, “Wow, 19,000 Texts between Lisa Page and her lover, Peter S of the FBI, in charge of the Russia Hoax, were just reported as being wiped clean and gone.” He added. “Such a big story that will never be covered by the Fake News. Witch Hunt!”
Wow, 19,000 Texts between Lisa Page and her lover, Peter S of the FBI, in charge of the Russia Hoax, were just reported as being wiped clean and gone. Such a big story that will never be covered by the Fake News. Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018
In 2017, it was revealed that Page and Strzok had exchanged text messages critical of Trump during the 2016 campaign. Republicans have used the case to slam the FBI for what they claim is a bureau-wide bias against Trump.
But there’s no evidence supporting Trump’s implication that the messages were deliberately “wiped clean” in order to cover up supposed wrongdoing. In reality, the messages appear to have been lost due to a widespread technical problem within the FBI, according to the inspector general report released Thursday. The report noted that while many of Page and Strzok’s texts were lost, thousands of others were recovered.