A former FBI lawyer who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a colleague has spoken out for the first time about the president’s “sickening” attacks on her.
Lisa Page said she was “done being quiet” about the furore which thrust her into a political storm two years ago and has made her a repeated target of Mr Trump’s ire.
“I had stayed quiet for years hoping it would fade away, but instead it got worse,” she told The Daily Beast. “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.”
Ms Page and Peter Strzok, an FBI counterintelligence agent with whom she had an extramarital affair, were both involved in probes into Hillary Clinton’s emails and Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election.
In messages exchanged by the pair, they called Mr Trump an “idiot” and a “loathsome human”.
The messages were later discovered by the Justice Department’s Inspector General and fuelled Republican allegations of political bias within the FBI.
Mr Trump has repeatedly disparaged Ms Page and Mr Strzok, who he called a “sick loser,” and appeared to mimic them having sex during a speech at a rally in Minnesota in October.
“Honestly, his demeaning fake orgasm was really the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Ms Page about her decision to break her silence. “His truly reprehensible, degrading stunt at his rally, in which he used my name to simulate an orgasm.”
The lawyer, who quit the FBI last year, said it “very intimidating” to be repeatedly attacked by the president, who recently suggested she should be in prison.
She said: ”When the president accuses you of treason by name, despite the fact that I know there’s no fathomable way that I have committed any crime at all, let alone treason, he’s still somebody in a position to actually do something about that. To try to further destroy my life.
“It’s 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. It’s sickening.”
Ms Page is reportedly set to be exonerated by an Inspector General report, due to be published on 9 December, on right-wing claims that the FBI spied on Mr Trump's campaign team.
But she said: "I don’t kid myself that the fact will matter very much for a lot of people. The president has a very loud megaphone.”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies