Lisa Page, one half of the FBI love affair that Doanld Trump constantly mocks, has come forward and talked to The Daily Beast. (Link)
The reason that Page is talking now is that she has been out of the FBI for over 18 months, but mostly because of what Trump said about her in an October rally:
“Honestly, his demeaning fake orgasm was really the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she says. The president called out her name as he acted out an orgasm in front of thousands of people at a Minneapolis rally on Oct. 11.
Page famously had an affair with fellow FBI employee Peter Strzok, and their text messages became fodder for numerous right wing conspiracies that Trump gleefully shared with his supporters.
Howver Page says they have been blown way out of proportion:
“At the end of July in 2017, I am informed by the DOJ Inspector General’s Office that I’m under investigation for political text messages and honestly, I have no idea what they’re talking about,” she told me. “I have no recollection. And initially they’re very coy about it. They don’t tell me much about it. I don’t have the first clue what they’re talking about. What I do know is that my text messages will reveal that I had previously had an affair. I’m overwhelmed by dread and embarrassment at the prospect that OIG investigators, Andy, and my colleagues, now know or could learn about this deeply personal secret.”
Initially, Page believes that her affair will be kept out of any public revelations about her text messages and that the remaining communications are fairly innocuous:
The few texts that so convulsed the Republicans involved Page asking for reassurance that Trump wouldn’t become president, and Strzok replying with “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” Glenn Kessler wrote in The Washington Post that “some of the texts reflect a deep animus toward Trump and the way he conducted himself during the 2016 campaign.”
She is convinced that she’s followed the rules. She is, after all, a lawyer and knows that she is a restricted employee under the Hatch Act and can’t engage in partisan political activity. “And I know I’m nowhere close to that,” she says. “I don’t engage in any sort of partisan politicking at all. But having an opinion and sharing that opinion publicly or privately with another person is squarely within the permissible bounds of the Hatch Act. It’s in the regs. Yeah, it says it plainly. I’m thinking, I know I’m a federal employee, but I retain my First Amendment rights. So I’m really not all that worried about it.”
But in fact she should be worried about it because those texts are used to feed the theory that the FBI was driven by a deep dislike of Donald Trump to open the Russian investigation in an attempt to discredit him.
Before Page even realizes it she is in the center of a political maelstrom:
“After this comes out, there’s a firestorm, of course, and now the president and the Republicans on the Hill latch on to this, and it becomes about political bias,” she explains. “A week or two later, Rod Rosenstein [then the deputy attorney general] was scheduled to testify on the Hill. And the night before his testimony, the Justice Department spokesperson, Sarah Flores, calls the beat reporters into the Justice Department. This is late at night on a weekday. Calls them in to provide a cherry-picked selection of my text messages to review and report on in advance of Rod Rosenstein going to the Hill the next morning.”
Page felt abandoned by the FBI and Justice because of the release of the messages and because the bureau issued no statement defending her and Strzok. “So things get worse,” she continues. “And of course, you know, those texts were selected for their political impact. They lack a lot of context. Many of them aren’t even about him or me. We’re not given an opportunity to provide any context. In a lot of those texts we were talking about other people like our family members or articles we had sent each other.”
Page mentions that one of the most painful parts of all of this is watching what Trump has done to the Justice Department:
“It’s very painful to see to places like the FBI and the Department of Justice that represent so much of what is excellent about this country, not fulfilling the critical obligation that they have to speak truth to power,” she tells me. “The thing about the FBI that is so extraordinary is that it is made up of a group of men and women whose every instinct is to run toward the fight. It’s in the fiber of everybody there. It’s the lifeblood. So it’s particularly devastating to be betrayed by an organization I still care about so deeply. And it’s crushing to see the noble Justice Department, my Justice Department, the place I grew up in, feel like it’s abandoned its principles of truth and independence.”
When it comes to her own personal life Page is fairly philosophical:
Page accepts that her life will never be the same, that there’s no “normal life” to return to. She’s still married to her husband and they have two small children. Ultimately, she was just another public servant like Fiona Hill or Marie Yovanovitch. She was dragged into the spotlight, her text messages weaponized, and her life destroyed so that the Trump administration could have a brief distraction.
A distraction by the way that Trump continues to utilize:
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
The ultimate takeaway from this story is that Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were really just collateral damage in Trump’s ongoing war against reality.
Their lives were destroyed because they dared to say something negative about the tangerine tinted tyrant, and that must be punished.