President Trump has concerns about missing text messages between two former members of the special counsel's team who have been accused of harboring bias against him and about a House Intelligence Committee memo that purportedly contains evidence of surveillance abuse involving the Trump campaign, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday.
"He thinks that there's a great cause for concern that five months of text messages have gone missing," Sanders told reporters at the White House.
The Justice Department informed lawmakers this week that text messages Peter Strzok, a former senior FBI agent, exchanged with Lisa Page, a Justice Department attorney, between Dec. 2016 and May 2017 had disappeared due to a technical glitch with their FBI-issued cellphones. The messages that went missing spanned a crucial timeframe in the development of the FBI's investigation into alleged Russian collusion, and some of the texts released to Congress so far suggest the two — who were romantically involved — did not want Trump to win the election.
Separately, dozens of House Republicans have pushed for the release of a memo drafted by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., that reportedly contains a summary of what the GOP House Intelligence Committee chairman describes as exploitation of surveillance authority in order to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser. Members who have seen the memo have reportedly said the FBI appears to have used opposition research that was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to apply for a surveillance warrant on former Trump adviser Carter Page, all while concealing the relationship of the researcher's relationship to the political campaign of Trump's opponent.
"You guys are absolutely obsessed with everything to do with collusion," Sanders said on Tuesday. "We hope that you'll take some of that same obsession, energy and direct it to the places where it looks like there could have been inappropriate and possibly illegal behavior."
The press secretary the White House supports "full transparency" when it comes to the House Intelligence Committee's memo, which has become the subject of intense interest from House Republicans over the past week. Democrats have argued that the memo lacks credibility because Republican staff included misleading claims in their draft.
"It sounds like there are some members in the House that have some real concerns about what's in that memo and feel strongly that the American public should be privy to see it," Sanders said. "At this point, I haven't, so I'm going to lean on these reliable individuals to go through that process of what that looks like."