Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted an attack on Samsung over the 50,000 missing FBI texts that some conservatives are certain must contain evidence that the intelligence agency is trying to undermine the Trump presidency.
Tweeted Trump: “Where are the 50,000 important text messages between FBI lovers Lisa Page and Peter Strzok? Blaming Samsung!”
Where are the 50,000 important text messages between FBI lovers Lisa Page and Peter Strzok? Blaming Samsung!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2018
VOX has an excellent summation of the backstory on the FBI agents at the center of the missing emails story:
Strzok and Page have been in the crosshairs of the White House and its defenders since the mid-December release of texts in which they discussed an “insurance policy” against Trump in the runup to the November election. Special counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok from his team when he became aware of the texts, but that hasn’t stopped some conservatives from alleging that they prove the Mueller probe is a partisan witch hunt…
…There is very little evidence to support this allegation, but it shows every sign of snowballing into a big deal. President Trump called the missing messages “one of the biggest stories in a long time” in a Tuesday morning tweet; Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said an investigation into how they disappeared is already underway.
The “missing texts” conspiracy has legs because for months, Republicans have been arguing that the FBI in general, and Mueller’s probe specifically, is irreparably biased against Trump. Some Republicans, like Florida Rep. Francis Rooney, have called for a ”purge” of purportedly disloyal bureau personnel.
This rhetoric points to the real scandal here: Republicans are trying to impose a partisan, Trump-loyalist litmus test on America’s top law enforcement agency. Moreover, they’re working to derail a probe into the growing evidence that Russia meddled in an American election on a massive scale.
More at VOX.
Trump tweeted about it earlier this week as well:
In one of the biggest stories in a long time, the FBI now says it is missing five months worth of lovers Strzok-Page texts, perhaps 50,000, and all in prime time. Wow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2018
The official explanation from the Justice Department is that there was a problem with Strzok and Page’s bureau-issued Samsung Galaxies — that “firmware upgrades” and other technical issues deleted records of texts sent from many phones across the bureau. But Trump and his allies didn’t buy it and have waged a furious campaign in the media to declare the missing texts as proof of an FBI conspiracy.
There is no evidence to support such a wild claim. Whether there actually was a software glitch is easily verifiable; according to a Monday statement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Inspector General’s office is already investigating the issue.