President Donald Trump took to his Twitter account on Saturday to slam “Mueller Angry Democrats” who he says “deleted” roughly 19,000 FBI text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his then-lover Lisa Page. This was not the first time he’d tweeted about the “missing” texts — in a previous tweet, he claimed that the aforementioned text messages were never recovered. While the allegation likely stoked support from his base, The Huffington Post reports that it’s another example of the president failing to fact-check his tweets. These claims about the missing texts between Strzok and Page have been debunked.
As The Huffington Post notes, the texts came up missing during an investigation into the communication between Strzok and Page. Strzok was one of the lead investigators into the FBI’s probe into Russian election meddling and was fired because he sent texts critical of Trump to Lisa Page, a former FBI attorney. The Office Of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the texts had been “lost” because of an error in the Bureau’s data retrieval program. They also determined that there was no proof that they had been intentionally removed by either Page or Strzok.
Moreover, the texts were recovered, according to the report from the OIG.
The Mueller Angry Democrats recently deleted approximately 19,000 Text messages between FBI Agent Lisa Page and her lover, Agent Peter S. These Texts were asked for and INVALUABLE to the truth of the Witch Hunt Hoax. This is a total Obstruction of Justice. All Texts Demanded!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2018
Wow, 19,000 Texts between Lisa Page and her lover, Peter S of the FBI, in charge of the Russia Hoax, were just reported as being wiped clean and gone. Such a big story that will never be covered by the Fake News. Witch Hunt!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018
This is not the first time that the president has been caught sending less than factual tweets. In November, Trump went on a Twitter tirade in which he accused the Democrats of colluding with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.
“The only ‘Collusion’ is that of the Democrats with Russia and many others,” read one of the tweets. “Why didn’t the FBI take the Server from the DNC? They still don’t have it. Check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats. That’s the real Collusion!”
But as Vox notes, the tweet contains a number of false statements.
For example, his claim that Hillary Clinton’s campaign colluded with the Russians has no factual basis. A report co-authored by the CIA, FBI and the National Security Agency concluded that the Russian election tampering operation had a “clear preference” for Trump. They also stated that one of their goals was to undermine Clinton’s presidential ambitions.
“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election,” the report says. “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”