As reported by TheHill
CNN political director David Chalian said Thursday that FBI agent Peter Strzok’s assertion that anti-Trump texts he sent in 2016 do not indicate bias “is just flat wrong on its face.”
Chalian was referring to a text exchange between Strzok and then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was reportedly having an affair, in which Strzok called then-candidate Donald Trump’s behavior “horrible” and “disgusting.”
“[Y]ou should put nothing in text or e-mail that you are not comfortable seeing on the front page of The New York Times or on CNN’s banner,” Chalian said during an interview on the network Thursday.
Chalian’s remarks come the same day Strzok faced off with GOP members of the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees. Strzok, who is testifying on Capitol Hill under subpoena, faced several heated exchanges during the day’s questioning.
“Strzok’s mission today is try to walk this line of ‘I have personal political views, it didn’t impact my work at all,'” Chalian said. “That may be true, but when he says that those texts, quote, ‘not indicative of bias’ – that’s just flat wrong on its face. It is indicative of bias.”
Strzok was accused of anti-Trump bias by President Trump and his Republican allies after the text messages came to light in a highly anticipated report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog last month. The watchdog concluded that it had no evidence bias affected the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
“I understand his point is, ‘Well, that bias didn’t infiltrate into my work, into my conduct in the professional capacity,’ but you can understand why, when you look at the language of those texts, that it’s very easy to point to a bias that this FBI agent was expressing,” Chalian continued.
When asked by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) if the Trump texts were biased, Strzok responded, “I do not think that bias was expressed in those text messages.”