The Briefing Room: FBI Agent Peter Strzok fired, Trump signs defense bill

Peter Strzok fired after anti-Trump texts, as the president signs a defense-authorization bill to provide $717 billion.
17:26 | 08/13/18

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Transcript for The Briefing Room: FBI Agent Peter Strzok fired, Trump signs defense bill
Good money afternoon tea DeVon wired ABC news headquarters in Washington this is the briefing room for a Monday German Mary Alice parks our deputy political director just an official of the Pennsylvania Avenue unit man. We have a lot fresh faced you're a fresh face first of all look at this is not at all. Loyal viewers. And we are glad you're watching there's a lot to dig into today including and especially. On morose as bombshell book on hands which in fact Kelsey. Having come in here with a cameo. Can't bring the book written about bringing about. Fear it we've got the book right here were actually going through right now we just credit she is hard at work. Obviously so we cannot read and take paths they keep Kelsey but we will get into that in in a second ironing action that's right this is what we do here. But first some big news today out of the FBI. Yet another political twist to that agency that has been song broad guys. Peter struck this is the FBI agent who led the investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails. He's been a lightning rod and all this Justin. Fired today sort of. Out of the now he's gone your. Happening sooner the president has been hammering Peter struck for months on and bomb it all goes back to that their regional inspector general's report that found those text messages where he really. Private text messages he win after the president. He was calling from congress just recently he offered a really solid defense from self but at the end of the day I think it's just proved to be too much of a distraction and the president warm gone and the FBI. Not commenting on why they did it he's crying foul but but but clearly they they felt it was time in the. It is exactly and it's an and that's fair but it's worth pointing out there was that other IG report Mets concluded. Chuck did not act based on political harassment. A reflection of political bias in the actions eat up some ways surprising it's firing came now almost like you said earlier released tacks are for serbians. And let's bring our justice reporter Mike Levine who's been tracking this from the start breaking news on this story Mike. As you know the and the FBI HR department if you'll did not recommend fired right they said that he should simply be demoted. If it corrected as the office of professional responsibility basically the ethics folks inside the FBI that said that he should have a sixty day suspension and be demoted. He deputy director Dave doubt it's overruled that and struts attorney insists this is an unprecedented move people over ruled they're direct deputy director overruled OPR's recommendation and terminated struck. And what might the big question we will all have today is what this means for the FBI what this means from around the ranks. When you have. You know the recommendation from the ethics board. You have the FBI director Chris Ray player Jean adherence to those recommendations and then. And then this move it it it seems to need to be another blow to the agency after quite a tumultuous couple of years. Yeah I think like you said it's been tumultuous and I think a lot of people inside the FBI are just happy that finally start trying to move. Forward beyond all of this controversy. And getting rid of struck might be a big move in that way they can now try to cut me concentrate on there what they're doing their thousands and tens and tens of thousands of investigations. Relate to crime and terrorism going on around the country without. Political interference. And we we can't stress enough how well this plays for the president politically. Now he can point to a bogey man and and and use it to whether it's valid or not to attack the Mahler investigation. Even going back that is to attack the Clinton or the original email investigation. And and that's where you're gonna see this you he's got to let this go today that does not end today he will be using them. Struck he's been tweeting about it we know Fox News has been playing highlights in his testimony in fact let's take a listen if you don't remember who Peter struck was. He was just on the hill recently defending himself defending his work at the FBI. Against these attacks with Nicholas and what he would. I can assure you. Mr. chairman at notes hot. In any of these tax did those personal beliefs. Ever enter into the realm of any action I took in the suggestion that I and some dark chamber somewhere in the FBI which somehow cast aside. All of these procedures all of these safeguards in somehow be able to do this is astounding to me it simply couldn't happen. And the proposition that that is going on that it might occur anywhere and the FBI. Bleak or roads what the FBI is an American society the effectiveness of their mission in it is deeply destructive. They they keep them think. Bringing towards Phelps at the White House Jordan as Mike was saying there the FBI looking into. Perhaps move on here turn the page from this kind of ugly chapter. What's the White House and right now. Yet DeVon that the White House is. While offering its back to the president's tweets and what's really interesting here. As that in one brat he's making me argument that because struck was part of the Russian investigation for a time. That that investigation should perhaps be thrown out that of course is involving him but in and then next breath he goes on to say that because struck. Was part of the investigation into Hillary Clinton that that investigation should be reopened. I said the president here making two very different arguments act trying to use struck activist political advantage are freaking out. All right this is no doubt not this is. There's not the last time we're gonna hear about Peter struck in this campaign is certainly is Robert Mueller continues Jordan thanks for that and our thanks to Mike Levine as well for his reporting. Now that's yet to talk about the topic of the day that everyone is sort of pouring into this is Amoroso a medical Newman's. New book unhinged she's making the rounds on media shall be on the ABC news politics powerhouse politics pod cast next week so tune in. But what's your take way here Mary Alice you've you've we've we've heard from her we've heard some in the allegations that's she's. Leveled against the president we know she was fired she's disgruntled about that. But now she's out with these recordings that she has and everyone is wondering what more could still can't. This is a reality TV star. Making pretty incredible TV and and that way are surprised so much of this presidency has played out. Like a soap opera in some ways it's what we've come to expect from Trump's inner circle. I would just say it you know. This is this that this book does not surprise me this behavior from heard that that's apart meet the White House telling us. Why are we taking her seriously now we weren't that I'd argue were not really taking her seriously now what we're looking out when we see this book is her thing. How did V takers have they allow someone like this into the situation room to be able to compromise them I'm. And the saying don't don't take her seriously yet the president has tweeted about it analysts and six times taking self right into the mud into the dirty useful accusations. It's surprising how nanny. Former advisors former consultant he is had to distance himself from. Numbness goes on an odd to say that someone has trusted at a top level is an inner conflict time. And then a year later two years later asked publicly. Is remarkable. And she was the highest ranking African American in their west wing Warner the only minority. Members of the senior staff and in fact. And Kellyanne Conway senior advisor the president was hard pressed over the weekend. I can name who else in the White House represents that community now it's Nicholas. Who is the most prominent high level advisor to the president on the west wing staff right now. African American yes. I did say that well personally you're you're totally. Not covering the fact that our secretary of house Letterman development and world renowned. I'm ask you about the White House that this group would there isn't on the White House staff right now and IU we have Jauron and his has done a fabulous job and very involved. We if he's been very involved with Jared Kushner and president trump on prison referring. Let's say they have not not a single senior advisor in the west wing whose African American. I didn't say that there wasn't a whole lot who who is me there there are planning if people. If your if your if you're going by that and not by the actions of the president would you probably should. Then then you should look at the fact that we had. A number of different minorities and and the fact is that this president is doing well for all American. So much of the book guys is about. Oh maroth said. Sort of crafting this narrative about how she was a prominent African American sport of the president and came around now calling him a racist. An aunt and her journey to get there it's edged up some credibility issues and and the facts are inaccuracies in the book no question. But she she she tries cheat to make this pretty hard hit on the president she served for many years and different. I think that one there's a lot of these former staffers emerging. Where the saying these essentially suck around because they're worried it be worth it did it right. That she laughed there'd be no African American women in the topped here. That it was for the good of the country to stick it out a little that's a bit of the Tolle she's taking these interviews. But also the credibility question I think I hope this episode of her reinforced the fact that the entire White House has a credibility issue. All of these spokesperson people from. Frankly from Thailand on to a fierce dinners and times have struggled. To gain trust. With reporters with the American people. And their their continuing cyst to be played back. And that's what makes it's so difficult to Parse some of the claims she's making is that both sides here let's bring Jordan Phelps into this over at the White House again. And it it's so difficult Jordan as you know two to make sense of who's telling the truth when their demise on both sides but. Pretty strongly from the White House you're hearing date see the whole book is riddled with lies. Yet done and certainly not the first time that the White House is. Calling someone a liar he has spoken out immediately and that as an actor he laughed but the bottom line here from the White House perspective. Is that if the president wants this story to go away he should be doing the exact opposite of what he's doing instead he's giving this. I story and boundless amounts of oxygen and fight. Going on an all out when her food fight against on the ropes and again attacking her intelligence which is an unfortunate range we're seeing from president prompt. A questioning the intelligence and a number of African American people that he's had kids went. In fact in a rare moments of self reflection today seemed to tweet that he was he had been told not to tweet about this right he said I'm sorry that was this site. And now he's fuming and tweeting and so much. Then he that this was the most are equal tweet he read tweeting Michael Collins who remember has also taken recording for the president against the and and T because Michael Cohen explaining that he infected knots the president from. Had declared a book this is the level after he's getting in mudslinging he's getting into on player at the same time telling us don't takers here and much more come from. Her she's going to be making the rounds and so many other media outlets in the next few weeks and no doubt. Let's shift gears a little renown go over to our Alexandria Virginia and the ten of the Paul man and work trial. Another juicy wanted to keep track of this is the case of course that some boiled. President fronts a former campaign chairman not involving the campaign directly but those. A financial charges against him the prosecution we expected was going to rest today let's bring in captain callers who was out of the courthouse. For an update Catherine you've been. Tracking this case from the start what's the latest today. He asked that we expected the prosecution to rest on Friday but then they had that. At least fine hour delay at least willing what that was about so now we expect. The prosecution after this is week three to rest their case today they have. Won a witness on the stand right now related to federal savings bank one of the bay experiment for allegedly. Obtain fraudulent loans from. I'm so we expect that and then the judge is going to hear an evidence mention I'm from from those signs after the jury has left the room. And as well essentially he'll war whether in the prosecution can call. One last witnesses say and the fact that we expect from that prosecutors here today and then of course the defense. We'll start making their case that I'm. And we closely you were await the defense in this case and be very interest in arguments meanwhile before we let you go. You put up an interest in peace today and abcnews.com. About that judge in this case has drawn a lot of attention judge Alice. He who has been described described himself as the Cesar of his own Rome in that courtroom give us a little flavor. Who this guy is in with some interest. Eighty acid diagnoses quite the character he had packed courtroom in laughter how Lotta times he always asked the jurors when they come and what they have for lunch you know that he has bad back problems they'll stand up and say you know excuse me except this stretch a little bit so. He does have everybody and it laughter but the main. It issue I guess so far has been them with the prosecution used a hard on prosecutors he's had multiple times we don't prosecute people for being rich. Various iterations of that quote he's not allowed and the show certain. Bits of evidence that they wanted to show they've really gotten into it and at some points in this trial he's been a measure on the defense but again the defense hasn't present their case yet so we'll have to see how he acts with them but he's quite that cared about it. All right cap footballers out Alexandria on the map for trial think you captain we'll check recommend you tomorrow. And finally got today the president is up in fort from New York keys give him a bit of a play date with the military up there before he self things. The national defense authorization bill he I think we have some footage of it he was treated to a spectacle. By the military there is speaking before that he was out on the tarmac with scenario that he that its generics in the. The artillery. Rounds come in and that made me. We found their just fired up blank then trainer at the it was like a little drill and he's lot of chatter online though he hasn't been to the front lines this is a resident who sees military drills but has not seen one like income there's no doubt that he this defense bill is what was on its promises he had sixteen billion extra dollars increase since World War II seven and seventeen billion dollars but and and it's so you know it's fine to go out there and watch a little military demonstration like that but I think. I think there are a lot of people asking you know we're in a number of all war zones overseas. You know why not go out there you can watch the real thing if you want. And of course Democrats asking questions about that dollar here. Means. But government. Paychecks and government chuck books work simply by. Bringing in my tax as an ad spending money and we know that the Republicans passed this historic and huge tax cut. The same tender boosting defense spending and there's a lot of questions from the other side. About whether or not the government is thank you have to rein in spending on other programs potentially social programs. It will surely continue to be harping on that bring up that topic leading to turn. No doubt gonna be a hot topic on the campaign trail pay increase for the troops which is a good thing today he's gonna hire 161000 more as well so. Much more to follow on that meanwhile we aren't political season wrapping up primary season merry announced getting pretty close tomorrow as a big day 85 days to the mid term elections and tomorrow night. Four states have their partners. And I think it that gubernatorial races are gonna take headlines tomorrow there's that big races in Wisconsin where Democrats are hoping to. Finally defeat Scott Walker he's been described it at Democrats. Lou white whale. A blues stay at the AC it lights flip. On the other hand think etiquette Republicans URL. Pick up opportunity because the Democrat governor Ares pretty unpopular. So ever watching those two primaries closely Minnesota Vermont as well so insisting its seats in both in Minnesota there's a number of a conservative Democrats that are moving on running for governor running for. Attorney general and so some of those seats are open Democrats like to hold them but Republicans see potential. Are you can watch all the latest on that story here tomorrow on nine ABC news live you can also follow you're never live blog tomorrow while Flynn. Net for the results here at ABC news for just an official morale sparse on Devin Dwyer thanks for watching us. Turn us back here tomorrow for the briefing room on ABC news line.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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