Federal Bureau of Investigation agent says his 'blunt' criticism of Trump never impacted his work

U.S. President Donald Trump with Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Jonathan Ernst Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump with Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Cohen went on to describe the hearing as "an attack on you and a way to attack [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller and the investigation that is to get at Russian collusion involved in our elections, which is what this committee should be looking at". At every step, every investigative decision, there are multiple layers of people above me - the assistant director, executive assistant director, deputy director and director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - and multiple layers of people below me - section chiefs, supervisors, unit chiefs, case agents and analysts - all of whom were involved in all of these decisions.

As far as Gowdy's actual question goes, it turned out Strzok's refusal to answer didn't even matter.

"My presumption [was] based on that frightful, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States, " he said.

"I have the utmost respect for Congress's oversight role, but I truly believe that today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart", Strzok said in his opening remarks. So, I take great offense, and I take great disagreement to your assertion of what that was or wasn't.

Still, Strzok admitted, his late-night texts may have been "blunt" and "hyperbolic"-they included such impartial reflections as "Trump is a disaster" and "We'll stop it" and "Hillary should win, one hundred million to zero"-and he allowed that they may have "created confusion and caused pain for people I love".

During his time, Gohmert had repeatedly asked Strozk questions about the Hillary Clinton private email server probe that he headed up but Strzok said he could not recall much of what the congressman was asking. Strzok told the OIG that the text messages reflected his "personal opinion talking to a friend", and his political opinions "never transited into the official realm".

"It's now clear Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States and can not defeat Hillary Clinton", Connolly said, quoting Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala. "But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind", he said.

He and an FBI lawyer he sent the messages to briefly worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian Federation, but were dismissed from the team a year ago even though FBI agents are not prohibited from privately expressing political views.

The longtime FBI agent helped lead both the Trump campaign and Clinton email investigations at various points in 2016 and was later part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation.

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Strzok noted that he sent text messages critical of other 2016 candidates including Sen.

But that's unlikely to be the focus of Thursday's hearing.

While reading one in which he used the f-word while talking about Trump, Strzok paused and asked how he should handle it, then finished.

Page served as the chief legal adviser to the FBI's then-deputy director, Andrew McCabe. - Goodlatte threatened Strzok with contempt of Congress.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) tried to argue with Goodlatte, but the chairman was having none of it, stating, "The gentleman is not recognized".

"Imagine if this had been said about Obama", countered the committee chairman.

"Mr. Strzok, I don't know where to start", Cohen said as he started his allotted five minutes.

Meanwhile, across the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia, former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort arrived at his new jail facility, as he awaits the first of two trials on charges of money laundering, illegal foreign lobbying and obstruction of justice.

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