“A newly revealed text message suggests that former FBI official Peter Strzok sought to capitalize on news reports in January 2017 that President Donald Trump had been briefed about allegations in the infamous Steele dossier.
Strzok wanted to use a CNN report related to the dossier as a reason to interview witnesses as part of the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government, according to the text message.
“Sitting with Bill watching CNN. A TON more out,” Strzok, a former FBI counterintelligence official, texted to FBI lawyer Lisa Page on Jan. 10, 2017.
“Hey let me know when you can talk. We’re discussing whether, now that this is out, we use it as a pretext to go interview some people,” continued Strzok, according to a CNN report published Friday.
Just before Strzok sent the message, CNN had reported that top government officials, including then-FBI Director James Comey, briefed then-President-Elect Trump on Jan. 6, 2017 about some of the salacious allegations in the dossier, which was authored by former British spy Christopher Steele and financed by Democrats.
Hours after CNN reported about the briefing, BuzzFeed News published the unverified dossier in full.
It is not clear why Strzok needed the CNN report as a pretext to conduct interviews.
Strzok took part in some of those interviews as the FBI’s lead investigator on the probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. He and another FBI agent interviewed then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017. Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying in that interview about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 9/14/2018)