President Donald Trump came out swinging Friday, lodging a remarkable series of claims and accusations about a new watchdog report about the Justice Department's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of emails.
Thanks to the IG report, however, we know now Comey's FBI made investigatory conclusions about Clinton's actions before the end of the witness interviews - and that those interviews were conducted with excessive deference to Hillary's staffers, who were showered with immunity deals for still-unknown reasons.
At that news conference - which followed a private meeting on a plane at an airport between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Comey's boss, and former President Bill Clinton, the candidate's husband - the then-FBI director said Hillary Clinton's actions were "extremely careless". "It totally exonerates me", Trump told journalists in front of the White House.
But the 568-page report found no bias in the investigation itself, or in the ultimate decision announced by Comey not to prosecute Clinton for mishandling classified materials.
Trump's legal team has repeatedly cast doubt on whether the president would sit for an interview with Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Beyond the text message referring to Sanders as an "idiot", Page also sent a message to Strzok in which she seemed to express concern "sandernistas" (Sanders supporters) would spoil things for Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. In one case, a male agent and a female agent who are now married exchanged messages in which the female agent called Trump's OH supporters "retarded" and later messaged, "f-- Trump". "We'll stop it", Strzok replied.
That's according to a person familiar with the report's conclusions who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
"The IG Report is a total disaster for Comey, his minions and sadly, the FBI", Trump wrote.
"There was no collusion, there was no obstruction, and if you read the report. what you'll really see is bias against me", he said, adding that the investigation is a "ridiculous witch hunt".
He has repeatedly criticized Comey for his handling of the Clinton probe and also targeted top officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the DOJ for what he called political bias against him.
Clinton has blamed her election defeat on Comey's public disclosure of a reopening of the email investigation 11 days before the 2016 election.
The report says the exchange is "indicative of a biased state of mind" and "implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate's electoral prospects". It represents the culmination of an 18-month review into one of the most consequential FBI investigations in recent history.
What does the report say about Comey? Page pinged Strzok and said: Don't you want to join an investigation that could lead to impeachment?
President Donald Trump has been eager for the report in hopes that it would vindicate his decision to fire Comey and undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
The report also details anti-Trump instant messages between other employees assigned to the Clinton case.
United States president Donald Trump stepped up his offensive against Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling, declaring it "totally discredited" following the release of a watchdog report documenting failings by the FBI.
Mueller is looking into the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election and any potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, among other matters that may arise from the investigation.
The president responded in an interview on Fox & Friends to the controversial text that was included in the Justice Department Inspector General report released on Thursday.
Trump focused on a three-word text message written in August 2016 by FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was overseeing the bureau's investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. It also concluded that Comey's actions were not motivated by political bias. The report did not examine or make any conclusions about the continuing special counsel investigation. "Ahead Of The Release Of The DOJ's Inspector General Report, A Look At James Comey's Long Pattern Of Misconduct And Bad Behavior".
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