He told reporters gathered on the front lawn of the White House that the inspector general report was a “horror show,” but he insisted that it “totally exonerates” him in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to Trump and his campaign officials.
“What you really see is … bias against me and millions, and tens of millions of my followers,” the president said. “That is really a disgrace.”
Included in the report released Thursday were politically charged text messages sent between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The messages were critical of Trump and sent between Strzok and Page in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
Strzok had been assigned to work on Mueller's team, but he was removed from the investigation last summer after the anti-Trump messages surfaced. Page had already finished her stint on Mueller's team by the time the messages were found, according to CNN.
Earlier Friday, Trump took to Twitter to slam Strzok and Page, pointing to a message Strzok sent in which he promised Page that "we'll stop" Trump from becoming president. The message was sent in August 2016 after Page asked Strzok whether Trump would become president, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.
“No. No he’s not,” Strzok answered. “We’ll stop it.”
Trump criticized the exchange Friday, writing on Twitter that it “doesn’t get any lower than that!”
Mueller’s investigation, launched in May 2017, has led to charges against several people connected to the Trump presidential campaign and its officials.
The president’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has pleaded not guilty to a variety of money laundering and other criminal charges stemming from the probe. Five people -- including former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aides Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos -- have pleaded guilty to charges in the probe and agreed to cooperate with investigators.