U.S.

Trump Accuses FBI Agents of Treason Over Critical Text Messages

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President Donald Trump leads a roundtable in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. Getty Images

The text messages critical of President Donald Trump that were traded between two FBI employees investigating the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia were treasonous, the president told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Thursday. 

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. FBI agent Peter Strzok was removed from his position on the special counsel’s team after it was discovered that he had sent critical messages about Trump to a colleague with whom he was having an extramarital affair, CNN reported.

903922140 U.S. President Donald Trump leads a roundtable in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. Getty Images

Strzok had sent the critical messages to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who was also temporarily employed in the special counsel’s investigation.

In the messages, Strzok called then-candidate Trump an "idiot" and a "douche" and said that his victory in the presidential race would be “terrifying.”

"I cannot believe Donald Trump is likely to be an actual, serious candidate for president," Page responded to Strzok in March 2016, adding that Trump is a “loathsome human.”

Mueller learned about the messages during an internal investigation by the Justice Department and immediately removed Strzok from the team, presumably to avoid the appearance of bias against the president, CNN reported. Nevertheless, Republicans have claimed that Strzok’s messages demonstrate that the investigation into Russian meddling is biased against the president.

In December, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said the FBI records of the texts show "extreme bias" against Trump among leadership at the FBI. Mueller himself is a registered Republican and has received bipartisan support amid attempts to discredit him.  

In his interview with the Journal, Trump expressed the belief that the messages between Strzok and Page are treasonous.

The interview with the newspaper touched on a wide range of issues, including the Russia investigation and a recent book called Fire and Fury that claims to reveal details about Trump’s inner circle.