FBI lawyer Lisa Page cast herself as the victim of the bullying president in her first-ever media interview. She also said anti-Donald Trump texts she exchanged with agent Peter Strzok during their adulterous affair weren’t wrong.
“The president of the United States is calling me names to the entire world. He’s demeaning me and my career. It’s sickening,” Page told Molly Jong-Fast of the Daily Beast, in an interview that appeared over the weekend.
“It had been so hard not to defend myself, to let people who hate me control the narrative. I decided to take my power back,” said Page, adding that the “demeaning fake orgasm” Trump performed during a Minnesota rally in October was the last straw. The president was parodying a popular play called ‘Lovebirds,’ based on her texts with Strzok.
It has been almost two years since the Washington Post revealed that Page and Strzok had been removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which took over investigating the alleged – and eventually entirely unsubstantiated – “collusion” between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.
Prior to that, Strzok and Page both worked on the ‘Midyear Exam’ investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server for government matters, and the ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ FBI probe of Trump. They were also romantically involved, though both were married to other people At some point, Strzok’s wife found some text messages on his personal phone and reported it to the FBI.
Among the texts were messages scornful of both Trump and his voters, references to the “insurance policy” discussed with FBI’s second-in-command Andrew McCabe, and a telling August 2016 exchange, in which Page says Trump is “not ever going to become president, right?” and Strzok replies “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
Page now says the texts were “squarely within the permissible bounds of the Hatch Act,” the federal regulation prohibiting executive branch employees from engaging in political activity, and that she had “no idea what they’re talking about,” when the Department of Justice Inspector General’s Office told her she was being investigated over the political messages, in July 2017.
Instead, she was “overwhelmed by dread and embarrassment” that her affair would become known to the FBI. It eventually became public knowledge, thanks to the Post, which somehow obtained that information from the DOJ and decided to print it.
Page described living in fear of Trump’s tweets, that her friends and husband – who stayed with her and their two small children – would tell her about. She only recently joined Twitter herself. She even flees from people on the street wearing Trump shirts or MAGA hats, “because I’m not looking for conflict,” she told the Beast.
“And when the president accuses you of treason by name, despite the fact that I know there’s no fathomable way that I have committed any crime at all, let alone treason, he’s still somebody in a position to actually do something about that,” Page said at one point.
Though he does command the law enforcement, Trump has not actually done anything to Page, aside from calling her out on Twitter. Unlike Strzok or McCabe, she was not even fired from the FBI, but left on her own in May 2018, and has enjoyed the support of the anti-Trump ‘Resistance’ since. The Beast interview appears to be the latest chapter in that support, seeking to shape the narrative ahead of next week’s release of the DOJ inspector-general’s report looking into the FBI and Mueller’s probe of Trump.
The same press that has pushed the Russiagate narrative for years is now saying that the report is supposed to exonerate Page. Strzok has likewise insisted that had done nothing wrong and that the IG fully exonerated him in the Clinton email probe.
It’s not just Page who’s the real victim here, according to the interview. What really hurts are Trump’s attacks on the FBI and the “noble Justice Department,” she also told the Beast. Those institutions “represent so much of what is excellent about this country,” but now “my Justice Department, the place I grew up in, feel like it’s abandoned its principles of truth and independence.”
Yet it’s not just Page that seems to suffer from an acute lack of self-awareness or moral compass. Not once in the interview was she asked to explain the content of the texts, or the impact of her affair on her marriage and children, or Strzok’s family. Instead, Jong-Fast paints her as a purely innocent victim of Trump’s “baked-in misogyny and sociopathy” whose life was somehow “destroyed.”
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