Disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok testified before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees that his infamous “we will stop it” text message was driven, in part, by then-candidate Donald Trump’s criticism of Muslim Gold Star father Khizr Khan.
Peter Strzok: "'We will stop it.' You need to understand that that was written late at night off the cuff and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero." pic.twitter.com/sF9fSDaKDt
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 12, 2018
STRZOK: Sir, I think it’s important when you look at those texts that you understand the context in which they were made and the things that were going on across America. In terms of the texts, “we will stop it,” you need to understand these were written late at night, off the cuff, and in response to a series of events that included then candidate-Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero.”
My presumption based on that horrible, disgusting behavior – that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be President of the United States. It was in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, the FBI would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate.
The instance to which Strzok was referring was of then-candidate Trump and Gold Star father Khizr Khan, a Hillary Clinton supporter, trading barbs during the 2016 election.
Pakistan-born Khizr Khan fiercely attacked the billionaire businessman at the Democratic convention in July 2016, claiming if it were up to Trump, his son never would have been American or served in the military.
Khan said Hillary Clinton, by contrast, “called [his] son the best of America.” Capt. Humayun Khan died in 2004 when a car loaded with explosives blew up at his compound. He was 27. Honoring his son, Khizr Khan pulled a copy of the Constitution out of his suit pocket and offered to lend it to Trump. “Look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law,’” he said, standing next to his wife and waving the paperback document vigorously.
“Have you ever been to Arlington cemetery?” he then asked. “Go look at the graves of brave Americans who died defending United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing.”
Then-candidate Donald Trump responded to the attack in an interview with ABC News, calling Khan’s statements inaccurate.
“I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot,” Trump said, adding Khan “was, you know, very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me.”
In a separate statement, Trump praised the service of Capt. Khan, saying he was “a hero to our country and we should honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.