While President Donald Trump was scheduled to be receiving a highly classified intelligence briefing, he was instead tweeting about a Fox News segment on a supposed “scandal” that has dominated conservative media.
Wednesday’s public White House schedule showed that at 11 a.m., the president was supposed to receive his regular intel briefing.
Instead, about ten minutes into the time allotted for the briefing, the president’s Twitter account blasted out a message about a newly-released batch of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
“NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS,” Trump wrote.
Just a few minutes before that tweet, Fox News reported that Strzok said President Barack Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing” in the FBI investigation of then Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server while serving as secretary of state.
The two agents were having an affair and exchanged text messages slamming politicians including Trump before Strzok was removed from the investigation when Special Counsel Robert Mueller discovered the texts.
The texts—which were released in a new Senate Republican report and first reported by outlets including Fox News and the Associated Press—were the lead story for right-leaning media outlets Wednesday, garnering front-page treatment on sites like Breitbart News and the conspiratorial site Infowars.
The Fox News segment Trump apparently viewed about the texts claimed the messages “raise questions” about Obama’s involvement in the Clinton email investigation.
Though the Senate report itself assumes that Strzok was referencing the investigation into Clinton’s emails, that inquiry was closed at the time the texts were sent. Strzok also did not specify in the released texts what Obama allegedly wanted to know about.
Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has established a familiar pattern of tweeting about the topics covered on Fox News segments shortly after they appear on the network.
While previous presidents like Obama and George W. Bush started their days at 9 and 7 a.m., respectively, Trump has reportedly carved out several hours of “executive time” in the morning in which he often watches cable news programs like Fox & Friends.