Strzok claimed in his book,
Compromised, that Australian diplomat Alexander Downer informed the U.S. government about a conversation he had with then-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos after Papadopoulos allegedly told him in May 2016 that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton and after hearing Trump joke that he hoped Russia would find her lost emails.
He wrote that Downer’s “communication…had been precipitated by a public statement by Donald Trump” and that “Trump’s words jarred his memory of a series of conversations months earlier.”
‘s Jerry Dunleavy pointed out, Australia had informed the U.S. government of the conversation on July 26, 2016 — one day before Trump had jokingly said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails.” Washington Examiner
Strzok was asked about his claim in the book that Downer had informed the U.S. government after he heard Trump’s joke, and Strzok admitted he got that wrong.
“So, I got that wrong. So I was writing my book without the benefit of the notes — the FBI had those — and the IG report had not been issued,” he said.
Strzok claimed that Australians saw a “big dump” of emails through WikiLeaks, which prompted them to recall the conversation and contact the U.S.
Strzok alleged that he got it mixed up because when the FBI counterintelligence division got the information from the Australians, “it was at the same time as Trump was making those comments, which were really concerning.”
Stzrok downplayed the “little error,” and accused people of “scrubbing timelines for little details and scoping headlines around them.”
“That was an honest mistake based on a lack of a specific recollection, and then after I had submitted my book to pre-pub review, all this information came out afterwards,” he claimed.
However, as Dunleavy points out, Strzok’s book released this week and the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report in December 2019 and Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his report in April 2019, both of which pointed out the FBI received the Australian’s reporting before Trump’s joke.
A Fox News report
suggested that FBI officials took Trump’s remarks seriously. A FOIA request pertaining specifically to Trump’s comment received a September 2017 response from the FBI that releasing any records related to them would “interfere with enforcement proceedings.”
Mueller’s report found — after three years of investigating — that there was no criminal conspiracy, cooperation, or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
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