Cooper: Truth and the IG report

Donald Trump

In a tweet, the president lashed out at Comey, as well as FBI agent Peter Strzok and lawyer Lisa Page, who were removed from Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: "US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's special counsel investigation last summer over concerns of anti-Trump bias".

Trump first took Strzok to task Friday on Twitter for texting during the investigation that "we'll stop" Trump from winning the presidency, a revelation that was disclosed when the report was issued Thursday, and Trump praised current FBI Director Christopher Wray for his leadership of the embattled agency.

These and other missteps by Comey and other FBI and Justice Department officials damaged the FBI's credibility, Horowitz concluded in his 500-page review of the investigation, which took 18 months to complete.

Beyond the text message referring to Sanders as an "idiot", Page also sent a message to Strzok in which she seemed to express concern "sandernistas" (Sanders supporters) would spoil things for Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. It may also fault former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and others.

But its criticism of Comey - levied by an inspector general appointed by President Barack Obama - is important to Trump as he tries to inoculate himself against accusations that he obstructed justice by firing the Federal Bureau of Investigation director last May.

That fuels attacks by Trump and his allies that people in the "deep state" are out to get him.

The president's lawyers want to paint the dismissal as something he was both authorized to do under the Constitution and correct to do based on Comey's performance.

Trump himself said he had "reservations" about a sit-down with the investigators. "We'll stop it." Both were initially involved with the Mueller investigation but later removed from the team. But it also found there was no evidence that Comey's or the department's final conclusions were motivated by political bias toward either candidate.

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In the long-awaited report, the department's inspector general, Michael Horowitz, blasted Comey for a series of controversial steps he took during the investigation, including publicly exonerating Clinton in the midst of the campaign and then reopening - and later closing - the probe just as the November election was drawing near. It is still wrong, must not be allowed to occur again and is among the facts likely to color any and all conclusions that come from the Clinton email probe, the investigation of Russian tampering in the election and Trump's role in the tampering.

One employee also called President Donald Trump's voters "poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS that think we will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing". And Comey said had he known earlier about the laptop's import, it might have affected his decision to notify Congress.

Whether the Justice Department's former top lobbyist improperly shared information with the Clinton campaign or should have been recused because of his friendship with campaign chairman John Podesta.

"But my emails", Clinton said, reacting in a three-word tweet. "Right?!" the lawyer, Lisa Page, wrote to Mr Strzok.

Nevertheless, Clinton later blamed her loss to President Trump on Comey, who reopened the investigations into her private emails a week before the October election, after new emails were discovered on the laptop of Anthony Weiner.

"In one newly released e-mail from August 2016, Page writes to Strzok asking, "(Trump's) not ever going to become president, right? He continued, "I think the Mueller investigation has been totally discredited". The report did not examine or make any conclusions about the continuing special counsel investigation.

Law enforcement officials previously told Reuters the information was leaked to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an adviser to the Trump campaign.

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