CNN and MSNBC frown on using disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok as Mar-a-Lago raid expert

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CNN and MSNBC raised eyebrows as they gave fired former FBI official Peter Strzok major airtime to defend the raid on former President Trump’s former home in Mar-a-Lago, while that critics believe the disgraced former agent is the last person who should be sent to claim an investigation is impartial.

Strzok was removed from the Robert Mueller Russia investigation in 2017 and fired by the FBI in 2018 in part for trading anti-Trump texts with his lover Lisa Page while overseeing critical investigations. Yet he was put in a position to defend the Mar-a-Lago raid on an almost daily basis.

Strzok has appeared on CNN at least eight times and MSNBC at least seven more times since the Aug. 8 raid. It appeared at least 15 times in the first 15 days following the raid, appearing on at least one of the networks on average. of once a day since it occurred. Strzok either participated in panel discussions — where he wasn’t always on screen — or one-on-one interviews totaling about 184 minutes of airtime on both channels during that time, Fox News calculated. Digital.

“Peter Strzok enjoys the rare distinction of being one of the only people to have been fired from the federal government for his performances. That alone should disqualify him from appearing in the media as an expert,” said Tom Elliott , founder of Grabien Media, to Fox. Digital News.


“Yet time and time again CNN and others invite him in anyway. If these networks had any journalistic credibility, they would disclose upfront that he was fired explicitly for his unrepentant anti-Trump bias,” Elliott added. “Their refusal to make this disclosure proves that his role as a guest is not to offer legitimate insight into the workings of the FBI, but rather to dump Trump – his real area of ​​expertise.”

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok was fired in 2018 in part for sending anti-Trump texts.

He has been featured prominently on a variety of programs including CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight”, “CNN Newsroom with Jim Acosta”, “New Day” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, “The Beat with Ari Melber”, “Deadline: White House,” and “The ReidOut.”

Jonathan Turley has been critical of Strzok and recently wrote a column noting that “Strzok appears liberated in precisely showing the bias and lopsided hostility alleged by his critics” because he is so eager to go after Trump and troll objections to the raid. Turley also chastised Strzok for a recent tweet claiming Trump had a Russian passport.

“The use of Peter Strzok as an expert in impartial FBI investigations is akin to the use of Joseph Hazelwood for the safe navigation of oil tankers,” Turley told Fox News Digital, referring to the captain. of the Exxon Valdez during its 1989 oil spill.

“Unless he distinguishes the current approach from his own in how to conduct an impartial and professional investigation, he hardly speaks from experience,” Turley said.

FBI agents descended on Trump’s home in Florida, seizing classified files, some marked top secret, according to a warrant and property receipt. He is under investigation by the Justice Department to find out if he violated three federal laws, including the Espionage Act.

Over the past two weeks, Trump along with several prominent Republicans have criticized the FBI for what they perceive to be a coordinated Biden administration attack on a political opponent. Strzok, a former counterintelligence agent who was shown the door after sending text messages attacking Trump while he was also investigating Russian election interference, defended the integrity of the FBI.

“Absolutely, the American public should trust what the FBI is doing,” Strzok said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this month. “It’s not that the FBI is targeting one side or the other. What you see is that the FBI is investigating allegations of law day in and day out.”


CNN and MSNBC provided major airtime for former FBI official Peter Strzok to defend the raid on former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.

CNN and MSNBC provided major airtime for former FBI official Peter Strzok to defend the raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
((AP Photo/Evan Vucci))

On Monday, Strzok appeared on “CNN Newsroom” to again defend the FBI, saying it’s “absurd” to claim the FBI is one-sided.

“I don’t want to hear that this is some kind of one-sided Justice Department or FBI that only investigates Republicans. That’s nonsense,” he said.

Cornell Law School professor William A Jacobson says CNN and MSNBC need to let viewers know about Strzok’s troubled past if he is to appear on the air, but the networks rarely mention his skeletons.

“CNN and MSNBC are not helping their credibility by having as a supposedly objective commentator someone whose own tainted history regarding Trump has been in the headlines for years. Peter Strzok is entitled to his opinions and those opinions may be worth the barely aired, but if CNN and MSBNC has it on the public should be alerted to its story, so viewers aren’t misled,” Jacobson told Fox News Digital.

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok discusses the Trump Mar-a-Lago raid on CNN Newsroom, August 22, 2022.

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok discusses the Trump Mar-a-Lago raid on CNN Newsroom, August 22, 2022.

NewsBusters editor Curtis Houck thinks Strzok’s appearances on MSNBC should have been expected, but the fact that CNN is offering him a platform is a sign the network isn’t ready to take the approach. nonpartisan desired by new CEO Chris Licht.

“While it’s no surprise that he’s been a hero on MSNBC over the years, his successes on CNN show that the network remains deeply unserious when it comes to getting back to center and s ‘engage in serious journalism,’ Houck told Fox News Digital.

Licht has focused on “news” and wants to shake off the far-left reputation the network has acquired in recent years.

“The belief among hosts and producers that Strzok is a staple is a great reminder to Chris Licht and his Discovery bosses that they have a long way to go to clean house. Strzok has an ax to grind and room to grind. to gallop into ecstasy at what his FBI friends have done, but that doesn’t mean it’s not embarrassing,” Houck said.

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok on MSNBC "The ReidOut" on August 16, 2022.

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” on August 16, 2022.


Conservative radio host Jason Rantz echoed Houck’s thoughts on the future of CNN, which he said will continue to be viewed as a far-left opinion station until it ceases. to book people like Strzok.

“That CNN is using the disgraced FBI agent who texted a friend that ‘we’ll stop’ Trump from becoming president to comment on Trump’s raid story is about all you have. need to explain the network’s dismal ratings,” Rantz told Fox News Digital. .

CNN has announced that it will be “reinventing” its long-debating “New Day” in the near future, and the morning show is one of the programs that has relied on Strzok since the FBI raid.

“Of course, he’s featured prominently on the morning show that nobody watches — that’s why it will air on CNN next,” Rantz said. “If CNN management really wants to be seen as a serious, objective network, they’re really sinking into a deep hole. Trumpers. Nobody’s served when they do that.


Strzok sent a series of salacious text messages to Page in 2016, at one point telling him “we will not allow” Trump to be elected.

Lindsay Kornick, David Rutz and Cortney O’Brien of Fox News contributed to this report.

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