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Trump's legal team emboldened by inspector general report

Donald Trump

And Trump took it one step further, barreling out of the White House Friday for an unannounced, early-morning television interview that turned into a almost hour-long freewheeling give-and-take with reporters, during which he returned time and again to assert that report had exonerated him amid Mueller's ongoing probe into Russian election interference.

According to the highly-anticipated report, Comey was insubordinate but not driven by political bias when making some key decisions as to the probe of Clinton's email use while she was secretary of state, during the period of the 2016 presidential campaign, which have drawn criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Trump said he did not have plans to suspend the Mueller investigation, and he repeated his contention that the inquiry was being conducted by people with conflicts of interest.

"Special Agent Strzok, who has been fully cooperative with the DOJ Office of Inspector General, intends to voluntarily appear and testify before your committee and any other Congressional committee that invites him", Goelman wrote. Page asked in a text to Strzok. Both said they did not discuss Hillary Clinton's case.

Trump also said he thinks special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into the Trump campaign's possible ties with Russian Federation is "very biased" and has reservations about being interviewed by Mueller, raising more questions on whether he will consent to an interview as part of the investigation. Page only briefly worked on Mueller's team and left before the texts were discovered. Most notably, Horowitz wrote that Strzok forwarded an email to his personal account regarding a proposed search warrant for former Congressman Anthony Weiner's laptop computer.

James Comey and Federal Bureau of Investigation criticised by watchdog over Hillary Clinton emails
He said that would be better than Mueller's investigation because it's internal and less likely to suffer from mission creep. The report focused in part on Comey's announcement in July 2016 that Clinton acted improperly but did nothing illegal.

Numerous texts had already been made public after the Federal Bureau of Investigation sent them to Congress. "We'll stop it", Mr Strzok responded. "Even if the report is a devastating indictment of Trump, the political tribalism in the country is so deep and won't suddenly go away".

FBI Director Christoper Wray said "nothing" in the report "impugns" the integrity of the FBI workforce and that while the report found "errors in judgment" and policy violations, it found no evidence of political bias or improper consideration "actually impacting the investigations under review". Page no longer works for the agency.

Goelman said that Strzok was not willing to use his official position to affect Trump's chances of being elected and that "his political conviction that a Trump presidency would be disastrous for American national security is not based on his bias, it was based on information that was available to him, and his perspective on American national security".

But both insisted bias played no part in their motivations. But the report also noted that Strzok was not the sole decision-maker and that he and Page sometimes advocated for more aggressive investigative steps than others in the Clinton investigation. He specifically called out Comey, whom he fired in May 2017. Mueller and his team continue to oversee the investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia's meddling in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

The report describes some of those messages, including one the day after the election in which he lamented the results and said he was "so stressed about what I could have done differently".

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