The FBI's coordination with the mainstream media surrounding the 2016 US election - a "media leak strategy" which was first first revealed Tuesday, goes far deeper than first reported, according to Fox News, which obtained "new communications between the former lovers."
A December 15, 2016 email appears to discuss a "political" leaking operation, in which others were "leaking like mad" amid the Trump-Russia probe.
“Oh, remind me to tell you tomorrow about the times doing a story about the rnc hacks,” Page texted Strzok.
“And more than they already did? I told you Quinn told me they pulling out all the stops on some story…” Strzok replied.
A source told Fox News “Quinn” could be referring to Richard Quinn, who served as the chief of the Media and Investigative Publicity Section in the Office of Public Affairs. Quinn could not be reached for comment.
Strzok again replied: “Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried, and political, they’re kicking into overdrive.”
In one passage, Strzok apparently misreads a reference to "rnc" as "mc," and then, realizing his error, blames "old man eyes."
It is unclear at this point to whom Strzok was referring when he used the term “sisters.” -Fox News
"Sisters" may refer to sister agency.
“Sisters is an odd phrase to use,” retired FBI special agent and former FBI national spokesman John Iannarelli told Fox News Wednesday. “It could be any intelligence agency or any other federal law enforcement agency. The FBI works with all of them because, post 9/11, it’s all about cooperation and sharing.”
The US intelligence community is comprised of 17 agencies, including the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI and the National Security Agency.
Fox News notes that the "leaking like mad" reference was texted the same day that several US news outlets reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved - and personally approved, Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Several days before that, an article titled "Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, U.S. Says," was published in the New York Times, which cited "senior administration officials."
Then, on January 10, 2017, The Times published another article which suggested that Russian hackers had "gained limited access" to the Republican National Committee (RNC) - the same day that BuzzFeed News published the "Steele Dossier" accusing President Trump of a variety of salacious and unproven ties to Russia.
Following the text about “sisters leaking,” Strzok wrote to Page:
“And we need to talk more about putting C reporting in our submission. They’re going to declassify all of it…”
Page replied: “I know. But they’re going to declassify their stuff, how do we withhold…”
“We will get extraordinary questions. What we did what we’re doing. Just want to ensure everyone is good with it and has thought thru all implications,” Strzok wrote. “CD should bring it up with the DD.”
A source told Fox News that “C” is likely in reference to classified information, whereas “CD” is Cyber Division, and DD could refer to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
McCabe was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March for making an unauthorized disclosure to the news media, and "lacked candor" under oath on multiple occassions.
It is unclear what “submission” Strzok and Page were referring to. -Fox News
A source also told Fox News that the messages were part of the newly released batch of Strzok-Page communications obtained by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who uncovered them as part of his investigation into the FBI's conduct in the Russia investigation.