- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 24, 2018

President Donald Trump accused the FBI of blaming Samsung for losing five months of texts exchanged between two agents who were a part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“Where are the 50,000 important text messages between FBI lovers Lisa Page and Peter Strzok? Blaming Samsung!” the president tweeted late Tuesday night.

The Department of Justice said Mr. Strzok, an FBI agent, and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer and his alleged mistress, exchanged nearly 50,000 texts for two years between July 1, 2015 and July 28, 2017. FBI officials told lawmakers a batch of texts exchanged between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017 are missing. The total number of missing texts is not known.

Mr. Strzok was highly critical of the president in the text exchange. He called him an “an idiot” and “loathsome.” The pair also vaguely discussed having an insurance policy in the event of his election. Mr. Trump and his allies have pointed to the Strzok-Page texts has proof that Mr. Mueller’s investigation is a political witch hunt designed to hurt to the president.

The FBI handed over a batch of texts to lawmakers over the weekend, but said the missing batch of texts is because of problems it had archiving data from the Samsung 5 cellphones issued to agents and staff. It said a “misconfiguration issues”, meaning a software upgrade glitch on Samsung 5 cell phones interfered with the FBI’s data collection capabilities.

However, the FBI never directly blamed Samsung for the lost texts.

The missing texts cover a crucial time for the president, covering the start of the Trump administration’s transition through the appointment of Mr. Mueller as special counsel on May 17.

The White House said the missing texts could point to possible illegal behavior by the two FBI agents. Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday that the missing texts are “one of the biggest stories in a long time.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to find the missing texts.

“We will leave no stone unturned to confirm with certainty why these text messages are not now available to be produced and will use every technology available to determine whether the missing messages are recoverable from another source,” Mr. Sessions said in a statement.

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