White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Thursday that a newly released Justice Department watchdog report “reaffirmed” President Donald Trump’s “suspicions” about the conduct of former FBI Director James Comey and what she described as “political bias” among some FBI members.
“The President was briefed on the (inspector general’s) report earlier today and it reaffirmed the President’s suspicions about Comey’s conduct and the political bias among some of the members of the FBI,” Sanders said during Thursday’s press briefing.
The Justice Department inspector general report made public on Thursday concluded that Comey’s actions in the Hillary Clinton email investigation deviated from departmental norms but that the former FBI director was not motivated by political bias.
The report was also critical of the exchange of anti-Trump text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
When asked about the texts, Sanders said, “This points out the political bias that the President has been talking about and I have repeatedly been mentioning on behalf of this administration that we found to be a huge problem and I am glad they are taking a look at it.”
In response to a question about whether the President believes that Strzok should still be employed by the FBI, Sanders said, “I haven’t specifically asked him … but my guess would be no.”
She did not go so far as to say the IG report should lead to a new special counsel investigation when questioned about that by a reporter, but she did say its findings should “worry a lot of Americans.”
“There are a lot of things in this report that not only worry those of us in the administration, but should worry a lot of Americans that people played this political bias and injected that into a department that shouldn’t have any of that,” she said.
Laura Jarrett, Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju contributed to this report.