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President Trump questioned Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's credibility in a tweet on Sunday, labeling Horowitz an Obama appointee in response to a report that found that the FBI's Russia investigation was not politically motivated:
"As bad as the I.G. Report is for the FBI and others, and it is really bad, remember that I.G. Horowitz was appointed by Obama. There was tremendous bias and guilt exposed, so obvious, but Horowitz couldn’t get himself to say it. Big credibility loss. Obama knew everything!"
Why it matters: Trump is attacking Horowitz for his conclusions that the probe was not fueled by bias, while simultaneously celebrating the inspector general's findings of serious wrongdoing in the FBI's surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
- The tweet underscores the unique way in which Horowitz's report has played out in today's polarized politics — both Democrats and Republicans have latched onto certain findings to promote their partisan narrative while dismissing the other side's.
Context: In his testimony before Congress last week, Horowitz said the FBI was justified in opening the investigation and that there was "no testimonial or documentary evidence" of a "deep state conspiracy" within the FBI to take down candidate or President Trump.
- However, Horowitz also said that 17 inaccuracies and omissions in Page's surveillance applications were "deeply concerning" and do not "vindicate" FBI leadership, including former FBI director James Comey.
The big picture: Comey on Sunday admitted that he was "wrong" about the failures the IG uncovered in the FBI's surveillance process, but argued that Horowitz's report debunked the conspiracy that the investigation was a "treasonous" attempt by the FBI to overthrow the president.
- Trump, in another tweet on Sunday, gloated about Comey's admission and questioned what "the consequences for his unlawful conduct" will be, suggesting that the former FBI director could spend "years in jail."
"So now Comey’s admitting he was wrong. Wow, but he’s only doing so because he got caught red handed. He was actually caught a long time ago. So what are the consequences for his unlawful conduct. Could it be years in jail? Where are the apologies to me and others, Jim?"— President Trump