Catherine Herridge reports from Washington on the reaction to the missing 5 months of correspondence.
President Donald Trump reacted Tuesday night to news that the FBI blamed phone supplier Samsung for the loss of thousands of messages exchanged between FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.
"Where are the 50,000 important text messages between FBI lovers Lisa Page and Peter Strzok? Blaming Samsung!," the president tweeted.
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
Earlier Tuesday, a pair of Republican senators pressed the Justice Department’s watchdog to explain why he did not inform them last month that the FBI "failed to preserve" five months of text messages between Strzok and Page.
It was one of two significant developments late Tuesday involving the texts, as Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., revealed more to Fox News about the pair’s messages the day after Trump’s victory that spoke of a "secret society."
An informant had told lawmakers that a group of FBI officials "were holding secret meetings off-site," Johnson, the Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman, said on "Special Report."
He declined to elaborate on what he had learned, saying that lawmakers "have to dig into it."
In a letter sent by Johnson and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the senators said the IG’s office had indicated Dec. 13 that it possessed every message Strzok and Page sent to each other between Nov. 30, 2016, and July 28 of last year.
However, the Justice Department admitted to lawmakers Friday that it had not preserved any texts that were sent between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17 of last year. The FBI blamed technical issues, saying the Samsung 5 mobile phones it provided to employees "did not capture or store text messages due to misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities."
Grassley and Johnson wrote to Horowitz that the Justice Department’s statements about the fate of the messages "needs to be reconciled."
"This is all about making sure that whatever information’s out there is preserved and that eventually, the American people understand exactly what happened inside the highest levels of the FBI," Johnson told Fox News, adding, "I’m suspicious."