“Newly obtained text messages between former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and bureau lawyer Lisa Page reveal a high-level meeting among senior intelligence officials was held weeks before President Trump’s inauguration – during a critical period for the Russia probe.
In a Dec. 12, 2016, text reviewed by Fox News, Page wrote to McCabe: “Btw, [Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper told Pete that he was meeting with [CIA Director John] Brennan and Cohen for dinner tonight. Just FYSA [for your situational awareness].”
Within a minute, McCabe replied, “OK.”
Cohen is likely then-Deputy CIA Director David Cohen. Pete is a likely reference to Peter Strzok, who played a lead role in the original Russia investigation at the FBI (and with whom Page was having an affair).
It is unclear whether the dinner meeting concerned the investigation and suspicions about Russians’ contacts with Trump advisers including incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn.
But two government sources told Fox News it was “irregular” for Clapper to be in direct contact with Strzok, who was at a much more junior level. It is not clear from the text if Strzok also attended the dinner. A lawyer for Strzok declined to comment, but did not dispute the text referred to Strzok.
(…) However, the December 2016 meeting that was apparently shared with Strzok – as documented in the text – came during a critical period for the Russia probe. Donald Trump had scored a stunning upset victory a month earlier; Flynn, around this time, was having conversations with Russia’s U.S. ambassador that caught the attention of the feds; the FBI had recently started surveillance on Trump adviser Carter Page; The New York Times was about to publish a lengthy report on Russia’s U.S. election interference; and then-FBI Director James Comey and others would soon brief Trump on allegations against him in the so-called Steele dossier.
The McCabe-Page texts also show Flynn was on their radar at the time. On Nov. 17, 2016, Page sent McCabe a Washington Post article entitled, “Trump offers retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn the job of national security adviser, a person close to the transition says.” (Read more: Fox News, 3/26/2019)