Ex-FBI lawyer breaks her silence after Trump’s ‘degrading stunt’
Donald Trump’s “demeaning fake orgasm” was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” and made Lisa Page determined to speak out, the former FBI lawyer has said, breaking her silence in a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Beast.
Page told the website: “It had been so hard not to defend myself, to let people who hate me control the narrative. I decided to take my power back.”
She left the FBI in May 2018 amid controversy, driven by Trump, over her role in the Russia investigation and an extramarital relationship she had with the bureau agent Peter Strzok, who went on to work for special counsel Robert Mueller. Strzok was fired in August 2018.
At a rally in Minnesota in October, Trump read from messages between Page and Strzok, from August 2016, three months before that year’s presidential election. Apparently pretending to have an orgasm, the president said: “I love you, Peter! I love you too Lisa! Lisa, I love you. Lisa, Lisa, oh God, I love you, Lisa.
“And if [Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton] doesn’t win, Lisa, we’ve got an insurance policy, Lisa! We’ll get that son of a bitch out.”
The messages were made public during Mueller’s Russia investigation. In one famous exchange, Page asked: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok replied: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”
Trump supporters immediately
seized on the messages as evidence of supposed bias against the president. But while the “deep state” conspiracy theory holds that a permanent government of bureaucrats and intelligence operatives exists to thwart Trump, one of its first proponents, the former White House strategist Steve Bannon, has said that the idea is “for nutcases”.
Being the subject of sustained presidential invective, Page said, was “like being punched in the gut. My heart drops to my stomach when I realise he has tweeted about me again. The president of the United States is calling me names to the entire world. He’s demeaning me and my career.”
Referring to a tweet sent by Trump four days before the interview, she said: “When [Trump’s adviser] Roger Stone got convicted, he asked: why isn’t Page in jail too? Not to mention, you know, his truly reprehensible, degrading stunt at his rally, in which he used my name to simulate an orgasm.”
Like most of Washington – and the president – Page, who is now in private practice, is awaiting the publication on 9 December of a report by the justice department inspector general into Trump’s claim that the FBI spied on his 2016 campaign. She is expected to be exonerated of acting unprofessionally or with bias against Trump.
▲ Lisa Page’s private messages were read out by the US president at a rally