Peter Strzok: I Didn’t Really Mean Trump Supporters Were ‘Ignorant Hillbillies’

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok testifies before the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing on "Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election," on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok said Thursday that his disparaging comments about “ignorant hillbilly” Trump supporters were not meant to disparage Trump supporters as ignorant hillbillies.

Appearing before a joint session of House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees Thursday, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) probed Strzok about those text messages.

A partial transcript of the exchange reads:

CHABOT: Mr. Strzok, you were involved in both investigating the matter of Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the so-called Russia collusion matter. Is that correct?

STRZOK: That’s correct.

CHABOT: And Mr. Page was also involved in both those, is that correct?

STRZOK: She was not a member of the investigative team for either. She was a senior staff member for Mr. McCabe, who I believe began–

CHABOT: But, some you were communicating with her on a fairly regular basis on these matters.

STRZOK: Yes, sir.

CHABOT: Thank you. You would agree, would you not, that both investigations were supposed to be fair and unbiased?

STRZOK: Yes, and that they were.

CHABOT: Yet, you were both rooting for Hillary Clinton to win and you both detested Donald Trump — did you not?

STRZOK: I think that’s fair to say.

CHABOT: And in fact, as we learned you apparently found Donald Trump’s supporters detestable too. Those around Loudon, Virginia as we’ve already heard you called ignorant blanks. I’m not going to say that here. And that you visited a southern Virginia Walmart and could smell the Trump support. Now, I have to say that when I read those communications and when I hear them here between the two of you, Specifically, what you had to say about Trump supporters, it reminded me of something Hillary Clinton had said about Trump supporters. She found them — what did she call them? Deplorables. I would submit it was your and Hillary Clinton’s smug view of Donald Trump’s supporters that would truly deportable. Don’t you think that the American people when they’re paying your salaries, when they are paying for a fair and unbias investigation from none other than the FBI that they deserved a whole lot better then what those comments I just referred to reflect?

STRZOK: Congressman, two things. One, I absolutely regret the appearance of some of those texts and wish I would have said, phrased or not said at all some of the things I did. Two, I take, I disagree completely with your attribution to my views of Trump supporters. I never said that. I expressed no such thing. There are millions and millions and millions and millions of Americans who I deeply respect and honor that they voted for Mr. Trump.


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