Peter Strzok spent his FBI career hunting Russian and Chinese spies, but after news broke of derogatory text messages he had sent about President Donald Trump, he came to feel like he was the one being hunted.Ex-FBI agent
There were menacing phone calls and messages from strangers, and anxious peeks out window shades before his family would leave the house. FBI security experts advised him of best practices — walk around your car before entering, watch for unfamiliar vehicles in your neighborhood — more commonly associated with mob targets looking to elude detection.
“Being subjected to outrageous attacks up to and including by the president himself, which are full of lies and mischaracterizations and just crude and cruel, is horrible,” Strzok told The Associated Press in an interview. “There’s no way around it.”
A new book by Strzok traces his arc from veteran counterintelligence agent to the man who came to embody Trump’s public scorn of FBI and his characterization of its Russia investigation as a “witch hunt.” The texts cost Strzok his job and drew vitriol from Trump. But even among Trump critics, Strzok isn’t a hero. His anti-Trump texts on a government phone to an FBI lawyer gave Trump and his supporters a major opening to undercut the bureau’s credibility right as it was conducting one of the most consequential investigations in its history.
Trump’s attacks have continued even as two inspector general reports found no evidence Strzok’s work in the investigations were tainted by political bias and multiple probes have affirmed the Russia probe’s validity.
Strzok expresses measured regret for the texts in “Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump,” due out Tuesday.
“I deeply regret casually commenting about the things I observed in the headlines and behind the scenes, and I regret how effectively my words were weaponized to harm the Bureau and buttress absurd conspiracy theories about our vital work,” Strzok writes. Read More……………