Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power may share an unflattering stage with a text-loving FBI agent and his Donald Trump-hating paramour from the bureau.
Fired agent Peter Strzok and ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page are infamous today for texting on FBI phones their anti-Trump sentiments while allegedly having an affair. They played key roles in the now-debunked Russia collusion investigation.
It turns out that Power — the diplomat whose authority inexplicably was used to unmask hundreds of Americans’ names in secret intelligence reports during the 2016 election — engaged in similar Trump-bashing on her official government email, according to documents unearthed by an American Center for Law and Justice lawsuit. The conservative legal group is run by Trump defense attorney Jay Sekulow.
The discovery could add a new dimension — a question of political bias — to a long-running congressional investigation into why Power’s authority was used to unmask hundreds of Americans’ names in secret National Security Agency intercepts during the 2016 election. That practice of unmasking continues to grow today.
Power’s barbs toward Trump started as early as the GOP primaries, when she used her email to connect Oskar Eustis, the artistic director at the Public Theater in New York, with oft-quoted think tank scholar Norman Ornstein, the memos show.
“Oskar, Norm will explain our political system, in a way that will fleetingly make it seem rational, though maybe not after Trump and Sanders win NH,” she wrote, predicting the future president and upstart socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would win the esteemed New Hampshire primary.
After Trump stunned the world with his general election win over Hillary Clinton, the observations of Power and those emailing her on her official government account turned more vitriolic.
“I am discouraged and frightened. Electing a right-wing president is something, but such a morally repugnant bully!” read a Nov. 14, 2016, email to Power from a sender whose name the State Department redacted for privacy reasons. The email referred to former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon as “an avowed racist” and predicted, “The worst is coming.”
There is no evidence in the released documents that Power responded or chastised the sender for using government email for such political animosity.
But there is ample evidence she engaged in similar Trump-bashing.
In December 2016, for example, when sent a news story about Trump’s effort to communicate a new policy direction for the U.N., Power snarkily replied: “This reflects the lack of understanding of history.”
When Trump announced his intent to withdraw the U.S. from a global climate deal, Power emailed a colleague: “Lord help us all.”
And when a routine diplomatic issue with Japan arose in late November 2016, Power emailed another colleague: “It is unreal how the Trump dynamic has changed things.”
Perhaps most telling are Power’s efforts to arrange media interviews and speeches during her final days in office, clearly aiming to counter the incoming president’s agenda and fan the narrative that Trump might be dangerously soft on matters involving Russia and mercilessly hard on immigrants.
When Jorge Ramos, news anchor for the Spanish-language network Univision, floated an idea for an exit interview, Power suggested her anguish at seeing Democrats lose the election was receding the more she watched Trump in action.
“If we do something, we will make it good,” Power wrote Ramos. “PTSD in retreat — Trump has vanquished it.”
Power and her staff spent time brainstorming a possible CBS “60 Minutes” interview as Trump’s transition period began. The idea was to parlay Power’s remarks at an upcoming citizenship event and the TV news magazine interview into forums to shame the president-elect on immigration.
Did Mueller look into this? Oh, that’s right… he wasn’t looking to expose crimes, his mission was to find that TRUMP committed a crime. He couldn’t.