Angry words exchanged in congressional hearing on FBI investigation

Donald Trump takes the fight to NATO

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok said Thursday that his text messages with another FBI official with whom he was having an affair did not factor into his work on the bureau's investigations into President Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation or into Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information.

The partisan bickering and speeches disguised as questions brought little honor to either the House Oversight or Judiciary committees in Thursday's three-ring circus masquerading as a hearing.

The interview will also be transcribed, too, according to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Ohio.

Ahead of the hearing, Nadler and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, issued a statement Wednesday knocking the questions Republicans had asked of Strzok in the closed session, including queries on his extramarital affair with Page and his vote in 2016.

"We were deeply troubled by text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations", the Justice Department's inspector general wrote in its June report.

"I don't give a damn what you appreciate, agent Strzok".

"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 terrible, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States", Strzok said.

Strzok replied that Trump won't.

Gowdy was repeatedly interrupted through the rest of his questions, while he and Strzok got into a heated exchange.

Strzok called it "horrible and disgusting behaviour", and said he was stating his opinion the electorate would "stop" a candidate like that.

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Although Strzok has said through his lawyer that he was eager to tell his side of the story, he made clear his exasperation at being the focal point of a congressional hearing at a time when Russian election interference has been successfully "sowing discord in our nation and shaking faith in our institutions".

In an exchange with Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC, chair of the House Oversight Committee, Strzok defended his "we'll stop" Trump text.

Strzok also said he was one of the few people during the 2016 USA election who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with people in the Trump orbit, and that information could have derailed Trump's election chances.

The tone he set did not endear him with the leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, which have made him and a former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer, Lisa Page, the targets of months of attacks about political bias within the agencies.

On Thursday, Strzok said the message was written late at night after Trump's campaign comments disparaging a slain USA soldier. Both Page and Strzok briefly served on Mueller's team as well.

"This is the first time I've seen Congress as frustrated with Congress as we are!"

After the commotion died down, Gohmert used the remainder of his time to ask Strzok if he had spoken to Clinton more than once and to remark, incredulously, "So after throwing away what you have, with all the bias you have, you've never even gotten a thank you".

Goodlatte told Alisyn Camerota on CNN's "New Day" Thursday morning that Page had agreed to an interview Friday.

House Democrats accused Republicans of using Strzok to undermine special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation.

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