FBI agent Peter Strzok said Sen. Bernie Sanders was an “an idiot like [Donald] Trump” in a text message revealed in a brutal report from the Department of Justice’s inspector general on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
“[Bernie Sanders is] an idiot like Trump. Figure they cancel each other out,” Strzok texted on August 16, 2015.
Strzok and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer with whom he had an extramarital affair, are among the most controversial figures linked to both the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and possible Trump campaign collusion. The two expressed anti-Trump and pro-Clinton sentiments in text messages, and some Republicans have claimed they prove the Russia investigation is tainted.
In one text message to Page, Strzok said “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming president. Despite such messages, the bombshell 568-page report concluded political bias did not ultimately influence the investigation.
But the report did say the behavior of Page and Strzok, in addition to former FBI Director James Comey’s mishandling of the Clinton email investigation, had damaged the reputation of the bureau.
“The damage caused by these employees’ actions extends far beyond the scope of the… investigation and goes to the heart of the FBI’s reputation for neutral factfinding and political independence,” the report said.
In addition to harboring anti-Trump sentiments, it seems Strzok and Page may have had negative feelings toward Sanders, a Democratic candidate for president, and his supporters.
Beyond the text message referring to Sanders as an “idiot,” Page also sent a message to Strzok in which she seemed to express concern “sandernistas” (Sanders supporters) would spoil things for Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in July 2016.
“Yeah, it is pretty cool. [Clinton] just has to win now. I’m not going to lie, I got a flash of nervousness yesterday about trump. The sandernistas have the potential to make a very big mistake here,” Page texted.