While attempting to defend himself from accusations his animus toward President Trump impacted how his handling of the FBI probes into Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, embattled agent Peter Strzok let his mask slip, going on a rhetorical rampage against the president.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) was questioning Strzok on Special Counsel Robert Mueller dropping him from his investigation after reports of his anti-Trump text messages surfaced. Strzok insisted he wasn't removed from the investigation due to bias, but simply as a public relations matter.
Strozk attacked Gowdy, saying "I don't appreciate" the characterization, which prompted Gowdy to shoot back, "I don't give a damn what you appreciate."
Strzok, asking for time to respond, then let loose a barrage against Trump.
"It’s important when you look at those texts that you understand the context in which they were made and the things that were going on across America," Strzok said. "In terms of the texts that we will stop it, you need to understand that that was written late at night off the cuff and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero and my presumption, based on that horrible, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect someone demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States."
"It was in no way unequivocally any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate," he continued. "So I take great offense and I take great disagreement to your assertion of what that was or wasn’t. As to the 100 million to 1, that was clearly a statement made in jest and using hyperbole. I acknowledge that is absolutely their right. That is what makes our democracy such a vibrant process that it is. But to suggest somehow we can parse down the words of shorthand, text actual conversations like they’re some contract for a car is simply not consistent with my or most people’s use of text messaging."
Strzok said the accusations against him hurt the FBI and America itself: "The suggestion that I and some dark chamber in the FBI would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safety safeguards and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me. It couldn’t happen. The proposition that is going on, it might occur anywhere in the FBI, deeply corrodes what the FBI is in American society, the effectiveness of their mission and it is deeply destructive.”
The ad hoc speech earned a short round of applause from some gathered in the hearing room.