Dec 18, 2019

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page addresses Trump "insurance policy" text

Lisa Page. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page addressed on MSNBC's "'The Rachel Maddow Show" the text message exchange with ex-Bureau counterintelligence deputy head Peter Strzok on an "insurance policy" on President Trump, saying it was "an analogy."

Why it matters: The "insurance policy" private text by Strzok, released in 2017, was seen as a "smoking gun" by congressional Republicans and other conservatives who believed an "anti-Trump bias" was building in the FBI and the Department of Justice.

Context: Per the Washington Post, Strzok's full "insurance policy" message to Page stated: "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office — that there's no way he gets elected — but I'm afraid we can’t take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before 40."

The big picture: Page became a target of Trump's attacks when he was a candidate and she was a trial attorney on then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, after it emerged that she and Strzok criticized Trump in private text messages made public in 2017.

  • Page's affair with Strzok was made public in 2017, after she was told by the DOJ Inspector General's office that she was under investigation for political text messages — claims she denies.
  • She's suing the DOJ for violating the Privacy Act by "unlawfully" releasing her text message exchanges with Strzok.

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Editor's note: This article was updated with more context and background on the text messages.

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Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.