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Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page arrives on Capitol Hill to speak before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee in July 2018. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page told the Daily Beast in an interview published Sunday night being the target of President Trump's wrath over the past two years is "like being punched in the gut."

My heart drops to my stomach when I realize he has tweeted about me again. The president of the United States is calling me names to the entire world. He's demeaning me and my career. It’s sickening."

Why it matters: Page became a target of the president'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 former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok exchanged private text messages, some of which criticized Trump.

  • The president and other conservatives believe the Russia probe was politically motivated and part of a conspiracy to undermine the Trump presidency.

The big picture: A #ReleaseTheMemo campaign was launched by Republicans, who clashed with Democrats over the issue of missing messages between Page and Strzok.

  • The Department of Justice revealed in December 2018 an investigation found thousands of missing texts between the pair weren't withheld with malicious intent. Instead, it was an FBI technological messaging sweep failure.

What she's saying: In her wide-ranging interview with the Daily Beast, Page said she was "overwhelmed by dread and embarrassment" about her "deeply personal secret" affair with Strzok being made public after being told by the DOJ Inspector General's office in July 2017 that she was under investigation for political text messages. She strongly rejects the claims.

  • It's "very painful to see" places like the FBI and the Department of Justice failing to fulfill the "critical obligation that they have to speak truth to power," she said.
"[It's] crushing to see the noble Justice Department, my Justice Department, the place I grew up in, feel like it's abandoned its principles of truth and independence." 
  • Page called Trump's attacks on her "very intimidating because he’s still the president of the United States," she said, and revealed she decided to speak out after the president's "demeaning fake orgasm" impersonation of her at a Minneapolis rally in October that "was really the straw that broke the camel’s back."
  • [W]hen the president accuses you of treason by name, despite the fact that I know there's no fathomable way that I have committed any crime at all, let alone treason, he's still somebody in a position to actually do something about that," she said. "To try to further destroy my life."

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details from Page's Daily Beast interview and further context.

Go deeper

In photos: Egypt unveils 3,000-year-old "lost golden city"

A view on Saturday of the city, dubbed "The Rise of Aten," dating to the reign of Amenhotep III, uncovered near Luxor. Photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty Images

A top Egyptian archaeologist on Saturday outlined details of a newly rediscovered "lost golden city" near Luxor that dates back more than 3,000 years.

Why it matters: Zahi Hawass told NBC News the large ancient city, unveiled Thursday, tells archaeologists for the first time "about the life of the people during the Golden Age." Johns Hopkins University Egyptology professor Betsy Brian said in a statement it's "the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamen."

1 dead as severe storms pummel the South

A tree that fell on a home carport damaged a vehicle during a storm in Central, Louisiana. No injuries were reported, according to Central Fire Department. Photo: Central Fire Department/Twitter

Strong storms lashed the South early Saturday, spawning at least one tornado and unleashing powerful winds and hail. And forecasters warned more severe weather was expected to hit parts of the region in the coming hours.

Details: Thousands of customers lost power in Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, according to tracking site poweroutage.us. An F3 tornado that hit St Landry Parish, Louisiana, killed one person and wounded seven others.

Scoop: Biden eyes Russia adviser criticized as soft on Kremlin

Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images

President Biden is considering appointing Matthew Rojansky, head of the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, as Russia director on the National Security Council, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Why it matters: Rojansky has been praised for his scholarship on Russia and is frequently cited in U.S. media for his expert commentary. But his work has drawn criticism — including in a 2018 open letter from Ukrainian alumni of Kennan that blasted the think tank he runs as an "unwitting tool of Russia’s political interference."