Thousands of text messages between FBI agents have gone missing, and US President Donald Trump is suggesting — perhaps wryly — that Samsung may have played a role.
“In one of the biggest stories in a long time, the FBI now says it is missing five months worth of lovers Strzok-Page texts, perhaps 50,000, and all in prime time,” Trump tweeted Tuesday night, referencing texts exchanged between Peter Strzok, a former lead agent working on the Special Council investigation into Trump-Russia collusion, and Lisa Page, an attorney on the same team.
“Where are the 50,000 important text messages between FBI lovers Lisa Page and Peter Strzok? Blaming Samsung!,” he tweeted 14 hours later on Tuesday night.
Strzok, who in a 2015 text message to Page called then-candidate Trump an “idiot,” was reassigned from the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential Trump-Russia ties last summer for fear of bias. His text messages to Page also criticized Obama Attorney General Eric Holder and Bernie Sanders.
Page, meanwhile, was reported to have moved out of the Special Council team and back into regular FBI duties in September.
A software glitch on Samsung-branded, FBI-provided phones is reported to have permanently deleted five months’ worth of FBI messages, from Dec. 14, 2016, to May 7, 2017. Trump’s tweet read as though Strzok and Page’s exchanges numbered around 50,000, but that’s thought to be the total amount of FBI messages lost.
Samsung and White House representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.