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Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/GEtty Images

A forthcoming report from the Justice Department's inspector general into the FBI's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails includes a text from agent Peter Strzok to his counterpart Lisa Page that states, "[w]e'll stop" Donald Trump from becoming president, per the Washington Post.

Yes, but: The report's ultimate conclusion, regarding Strzok and Page's interactions, is that it "did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed," per Bloomberg. However, the report also notes that "the conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation."

The text messages:

  • Page wrote Strzok: "[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right? Right!?"
  • Strzok responded, "No. No he won't. We'll stop it."

Worth noting: Strzok was a co-author of the letter to Congress, written by then-FBI Director James Comey, announcing the reopening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails just days before the 2016 presidential election, per CNN.

  • Strzok was also removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation last summer for his text exchanges with Page. At that point, Page had already left the FBI.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

8 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

Cuomo: "I am not going to resign"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized Wednesday for acting in a way that made women feel "uncomfortable," but insisted that he has "never touched anyone inappropriately" and said he will not resign.

Driving the news: Cuomo reiterated in his first public appearance since sexual harassment allegations surfaced that he will fully cooperate with a team of independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, but suggested that demands for his resignation from were simply "politics."

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