Trump says its ‘fake news’ that he criticised Theresa May’s Brexit plans

FBI agent gets applause in contentious hearing after forceful defense of agency

Cohen's praise came after Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed in a report last month that Strzok, who oversaw the opening of the Russian Federation investigation and the probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, sent text messages to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he had an extramarital affair, saying "we'll stop" Donald Trump from becoming president. He told lawmakers the texts in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election reflected personal views that he had never acted on, angrily rejecting Republican allegations that he had set out to stop Donald Trump from becoming president.

FBI Director Chris Wray has said employees who were singled out for criticism by the inspector general have been referred to internal disciplinary officials.

"You need your medication", Rep.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, threatened Strzok with contempt, claiming he was under subpoena.

"When you said you never crossed that bright, inviolable line, what you meant to say was except for 50,000 times, except for hundreds of times a day where I went back and forth, expressing my personal opinions about "f'ing" Trump and stopping Trump and impeaching Trump on official Federal Bureau of Investigation phones, on official Federal Bureau of Investigation time", said Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas. "Agent Strzok had Donald Trump impeached before he even started investigating him".

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), who needled Strzok about "text messages with your friend".

There were frequent interruptions, but the loudest came several hours into the hearing when Democrats exploded during a tense exchange between Strzok and Rep. Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, who appeared to question Strzok's character.

Court documents reveal Strzok sometimes sent over 100 personal texts a day to Page, many of which expressed bias against President Trump. It was also noted repeatedly Thursday that the Justice Department inspector general's investigation concluded that Strzok's obvious expressions of bias using FBI phones did not influence any aspect of the Clinton and Russian Federation investigations. Outgoing Congressman Trey Gowdy brought up that text and another in which Strzok said Hillary Clinton should win "100 million to zero".

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"I urge our chairmen to change course and to keep their promises to protect the integrity of the special counsel's investigation", Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in his opening statement Thursday.

In an exchange with Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC, chair of the House Oversight Committee, Strzok defended his "we'll stop" Trump text.

Strzok said "based on that terrible, disgusting behavior", he assumed Trump would not win the election. Strzok, an expert in the field of counterintelligence, had played a leading role in the Hillary Clinton investigation.

"Mr. Gowdy, my understanding of why I was kicked off was that based on an understanding of those texts, and the perception that they might create-" Strzok said.

When Strzok declined to answer some questions on the Russian Federation probe, Goodlatte suggested Republicans might recess the hearing and hold him in contempt. Democrats objected and Goodlatte eventually let the hearing proceed. Trump's staff has opted to keep him largely out of central London and the swarms of demonstrators who are expected to protest the president's every move during his two-day stay in the United Kingdom.

The FBI agent went on to assail Republicans for corroding "what the FBI is in American society", and impairing its capacity to execute its mission.

Page is expected to speak to lawmakers at a private meeting Friday.

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