Coverup Caucus: At Peter Strzok’s Hearing House Republicans Do Putin’s Bidding
Strzok came off as credible and calm. House Republicans appeared unhinged and untethered to reality. The Kremlin came out on top.
The Rantt Rundown: Day 539 of the Trump presidency
The Big Story: FBI Agent Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump text messages have become Republicans main talking point to try and undermine the Russia investigation, volunteered to testify at a hearing in front of the House Judiciary and Select Committees. At the hearing, Republicans continued their efforts to undermine the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and Americans’ faith in U.S. institutions (some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goals) and made a fool of themselves. You can read Vox‘s great breakdown of the hearing here, but here are some of the highlights.
Watch Peter Strzok take Rep. Trey Gowdy to task over his attacks on the FBI.
Gowdy grimaces. The audience applauds.https://t.co/JzQgr59Slb
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) July 12, 2018
Reps Gowdy & Goodlatte’s attempt to force FBI Agent Strzok (who isn’t even under subpoena) to answer questions about an ongoing investigation, despite FBI Counsel’s direction he may not answer, is a political stunt & the very picture of a witch hunt.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) July 12, 2018
The Peter Strzok hearing is another example of Trump accusing Dems of what the @GOP is actually doing.
Trump: Claims the Mueller investigation is a politically motivated witch hunt.
Reality: GOP Reps Gowdy & Goodlatte try to undermine an investigation for political advantage.
— Remy Carreiro (@Remy_Anne) July 12, 2018
.@RepJeffries: Strzok is here for 1 reason to serve as a major distraction from the investigation into Russian interference and collusion. The “coverup caucus” needed a public enemy and unfortunately for Strzok, “tag you’re it.”
— Adam (@aalali44) July 12, 2018
.@replouiegohmert accuses Strzok of lying about not having any professional bias, invokes the lies Strzok allegedly told “looking into his wife’s eyes” (given his affair with Lisa Page). House Democrats erupt, one suggesting Gohmert needs to take his “medication.”
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 12, 2018
Listening to Benghazi Trey Gowdy lecture Peter Strzok about the importance of running investigations without bias is like listening to an alcoholic with a beer in his hand lecture someone on the importance of sobriety.
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) July 12, 2018
WATCH Raskin remind everyone that insults toward Donald Trump do not mean deep state conspiracy as he points out overwhelming Republican hypocrisy. These greatest hits insults are delicious. pic.twitter.com/vEwy9jqQp3
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) July 12, 2018
This is the point that explodes every accusation and conspiracy theory about Strzok. He could’ve ended the Trump campaign and prevented a Trump presidency with one phone call to the press, yet he never did. https://t.co/dqqPsCewua
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) July 12, 2018
FBI agent Peter Stzrok: In the fall of 2016, I had info that could “derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump. But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind….This investigation is not politically motivated, it is not a witch hunt, it is not a hoax.”
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) July 12, 2018
The Context: It’s important to note that Strzok also had negative texts about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and there was no evidence of bias affecting his role in the Russia investigation. Also important to note that right when Special Counsel Robert Mueller was made aware of the text messages, Strzok was removed from the team. And most importantly: this is nothing more than a coordinated campaign on the part of President Trump, House Republicans, and conservative media to undermine the Russia investigation. This effort has extended into efforts to discredit the DOJ, FBI, and the U.S. Intelligence Community as a whole.
The U.S. Intelligence Community concluded that Russia’s longstanding objective has been to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order and our faith in democratic institutions. For decades, Russian propaganda has aimed to stir racial divisions, attack the credibility of the U.S. government, and try to weaken western influence. Today, we have a President, backed by the full support of his party and propaganda arms like Fox News, executing on our foreign adversary’s primary objectives.
In other news…
Day one of the NATO summit on Wednesday was plagued with misrepresentations and unfounded insults directed at America’s closest allies. From accusing Germany of being “a captive of Russia” to obfuscating the purpose of NATO, President Trump was in peak “dismantle the US-led, post-WWI, liberal world order” form. All of this before President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16th, a foreign adversary who has a vested interest in a weak NATO.
On Thursday, in a presser filled with contradictions, President Trump changed his tone on NATO but repeated the same lies….