Peter Strzok says FBI has instructed him not to answer questions

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with the leaders of the Baltic states

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok said Thursday that his text messages with another FBI official with whom he was having an affair did not factor into his work on the bureau's investigations into President Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation or into Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information.

"I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there", Strzok said in the text.

"In terms of the texts that 'we will stop it, ' you need to understand that was written late at night, off-the-cuff, and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero, and my presumption, based on that terrible, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be President of the United States", Strzok said.

Strzok acknowledged that while his text message criticism was "blunt", it was not directed at one person or political party and included jabs not only at Trump but also at Clinton as well as Sen.

"I can assure you Mr. Chairman, at no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took".

Fair enough. We should note, however, that while we have seen Strzok's private text messages - because they were released by the Justice Department - we have no idea what other Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were texting each other, say, about Hillary Clinton.

An FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages fueled suspicions of partisan bias said at a bitterly contentious and occasionally chaotic hearing in Congress on Thursday that his work has never been tainted by politics, angrily rejecting Republican allegations that he set out to stop Donald Trump from becoming president. "If you want to represent what you said accurately I am happy to answer that question, but I don't appreciate what was originally said being changed".

Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep.

It is point that has been largely brushed aside in Trump-friendly media circles, with a text Strzok sent to Page in May 2017 also receiving comparatively little scrutiny.

In terms of the texts that 'We will stop it, ' you need to understand that that was written late at night, off the cuff, and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero and my presumption, based on that frightful, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States. Strzok, who has already spoken to the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees behind closed doors, is expected to testify publicly before the panels Thursday.

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

Gowdy sparred with Strzok in a combative line of questioning that led to an extended argument between leaders of the committee during the public hearing. Strzok's lawyer slammed the move as politically motivated and unnecessary, pointing out that his client had stepped up and offered to be interviewed.

But Goodlatte pushed back at the top of the hearing, defending his committee's investigation.

The White House said President Trump is monitoring the hearing from Europe.

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