Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page broke her silence over the weekend, speaking to The Daily Beast to defend herself from the constant attacks she has received from President Donald Trump after anti-Trump text messages surfaced between her and FBI agent Peter Strzok. Trump has used the texts as proof the FBI was against him, but Page maintains that her personal opinions had no bearing on her work at the FBI and the Russia investigation. A report from the Justice Department inspector general is expected on December 9 and reportedly will exonerate her. A prior inspector general report into her handling of the Clinton email case said that while the texts “cast a cloud” over the investigation publicly, neither let it interfere with the investigation.
But ever since the texts became public, Trump has made Page and Strzok frequent targets at his rallies, and Page said that is the reason she came forward. “Honestly, his demeaning fake orgasm was really the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she told reporter Molly Jong-Fast, referring to a rally where Trump said Page’s name while mimicking an orgasm on stage in mid-October.
Trump has also tweeted about Page at least 36 times, and she spoke about the mental toll that has taken. “It’s almost impossible to describe,” she said. “It’s like being punched in the gut. My heart drops to my stomach when I realize he has tweeted about me again. The president of the United States is calling me names to the entire world. He’s demeaning me and my career. It’s sickening.”
Page added, “But it’s also very intimidating because he’s still the president of the United States. And when the president accuses you of treason by name, despite the fact that I know there’s no fathomable way that I have committed any crime at all, let alone treason, he’s still somebody in a position to actually do something about that. To try to further destroy my life. It never goes away or stops, even when he’s not publicly attacking me.”
And the president taunted her on Twitter again today, writing, “When Lisa Page, the lover of Peter Strzok, talks about being ‘crushed’, and how innocent she is, ask her to read Peter’s ‘Insurance Policy’ text, to her, just in case Hillary loses. Also, why were the lovers text messages scrubbed after he left Mueller. Where are they Lisa?”
When Lisa Page, the lover of Peter Strzok, talks about being “crushed”, and how innocent she is, ask her to read Peter’s “Insurance Policy” text, to her, just in case Hillary loses. Also, why were the lovers text messages scrubbed after he left Mueller. Where are they Lisa?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2019
Congressional Republicans have also latched on to Trump’s narrative about Page and Strzok. But when Page testified to Congress behind closed doors, Republican Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) called her a “very credible witness” who had been “falsely accused” of refusing to cooperate with Congress.
But Page is not optimistic that the upcoming inspector general report will end the president’s attacks on her. “While it would be nice to have the IG confirm publicly that my personal opinions had absolutely no bearing on the course of the Russia investigations, I don’t kid myself that the fact will matter very much for a lot of people. The president has a very loud megaphone.”