Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authorized the release of text messages between two FBI employees that criticized President Donald Trump. In a series of messages, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page called the president an “idiot” and expressed their opinions that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton deserved to win the 2016 election. Rosenstein claimed in a court filing released by the Justice Department that he released the texts to protect the former FBI officials from unfair criticism.
“The Department’s Office of Public Affairs … recommended providing the text messages to the media because otherwise, some congressional members and staff were expected to release them intermittently before, during and after the hearing, exacerbating the adverse publicity for Mr. Strzok, Ms. Page and the Department,” Rosenstein wrote in the brief. “Providing the most egregious messages in one package would avoid the additional harm of prolonged selective disclosures and minimize the appearance of the Department concealing information that was embarrassing to the FBI.”