Lisa Page explains the meaning of controversial 'insurance policy' text

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page joined The Rachel Maddow Show for her first televised interview since leaving the bureau last year. Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok were thrust into the national spotlight when text messages between the two during the 2016 campaign were leaked to the press by the Department of Justice, including one that mentions an “insurance policy” if then-candidate Trump were to be elected, which has consistently been used by President Trump and his allies to claim bias in the Russia investigation. But on Tuesday night, page set the record straight.

“We're talking about whether or not we should take certain investigative steps or not based on the likelihood that he's going to be president or not,” Page said. “You have to keep in mind, if President Trump doesn't become president, the national security risk, if there is somebody in his campaign associated with Russia, plummets. You're not so worried about Russia's doing, vis-à vis a member of his campaign, if he's not president because you're not going to have access to classified information, you’re not gonna have access to sources and methods in our national security apparatus. So the ‘insurance policy’ was an analogy. It's like an insurance policy when you're 40. You don't expect to die when you're 40, yet you still have an insurance policy.” 

Page also explained another text used by some to denigrate the investigation into Trump’s campaign and make claims of a deep state conspiracy.

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FBI Agent Peter Strzok testifies at House Judiciary Hearing
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FBI Agent Peter Strzok testifies at House Judiciary Hearing
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), speaks during a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, speaks as Representative Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, left, listens during a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Peter Strzok, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), listens during a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The back of a poster, held by a staff member, reads 'Russia Meeting' during a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Peter Strzok, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), speaks during a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), speaks during a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US Representative Elijah Cummings(D-MD) and US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ranking member, speaks as posters of those who have plead guilty to charges stemming from the investigation of the 2016 election by Special Counsel Robert Mueller are displayed during a House Joint committee hearing with witness Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, July 12, 2018. - An FBI agent assailed as biased by Donald Trump after it emerged he railed against the president in private messages with his lover, said Thursday such attacks are bolstering Russia's Vladimir Putin and tearing the United States apart. Ahead of a congressional hearing on alleged anti-Trump bias in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Peter Strzok denied assertions that the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election was a politicized probe targeting the president. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US Representative Elijah Cummings(D-MD) and US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ranking member, speaks as posters of those who have plead guilty to charges stemming from the investigation of the 2016 election by Special Counsel Robert Mueller are displayed during a House Joint committee hearing with witness Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, July 12, 2018. - An FBI agent assailed as biased by Donald Trump after it emerged he railed against the president in private messages with his lover, said Thursday such attacks are bolstering Russia's Vladimir Putin and tearing the United States apart. Ahead of a congressional hearing on alleged anti-Trump bias in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Peter Strzok denied assertions that the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election was a politicized probe targeting the president. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 12: A television displays a House Oversight Committee hearing with FBI Agent Peter Strzok as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks with reporters during her weekly press conference at the Capitol on July 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. While involved in the probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server in 2016, Strzok exchanged text messages with FBI attorney Lisa Page that were critical of Trump. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, arrives to a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Peter Strzok, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, waits to begin a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Peter Strzok, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, right, talks to Representative Mark Meadows, a Republican from North Carolina, before the start of a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Peter Strzok, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Representative Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, left, talks to Representative Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland, before the start of a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Peter Strzok, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok testifies on FBI and Department of Justice actions during the 2016 Presidential election during a House Joint committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, July 12, 2018. - An FBI agent assailed as biased by Donald Trump after it emerged he railed against the president in private messages with his lover, said Thursday such attacks are bolstering Russia's Vladimir Putin and tearing the United States apart. Ahead of a congressional hearing on alleged anti-Trump bias in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Peter Strzok denied assertions that the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election was a politicized probe targeting the president. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), center, arrives to a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), right, arrives to a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), swears in to a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Posters of people who have plead guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the U.S. elections are held by staff members during a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Peter Strzok, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), swears in to a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), waits to begin a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), swears in to a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), center, waits to begin a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), waits to begin a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), waits to begin a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), waits to begin a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), waits to begin a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), center, waits to begin a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), waits to begin a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok testifies on FBI and Department of Justice actions during the 2016 Presidential election during a House Joint committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, July 12, 2018. - An FBI agent assailed as biased by Donald Trump after it emerged he railed against the president in private messages with his lover, said Thursday such attacks are bolstering Russia's Vladimir Putin and tearing the United States apart. Ahead of a congressional hearing on alleged anti-Trump bias in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Peter Strzok denied assertions that the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election was a politicized probe targeting the president. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Peter Strzok, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), center, arrives to a joint House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Strzok, the FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts with a bureau lawyer, denied he did anything improper, as he faced a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who say he personifies bias that tainted the agency's Russia investigation early on. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Concerning the text in which Strzok wrote “we’ll stop” Trump from being elected, Page explained, “By ‘we’ he’s talking about the collective we: like-minded, thoughtful, sensible people who were not gonna vote this person into office.”

Page claims she was told the text messages would remain private and is now suing the DoJ and the FBI for their handling of the texts. She claims that the texts were leaked to the press in an effort to get in Trump’s good graces. This came at a time when Trump was angry with then Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, and Trump was constantly bashing the FBI. Page, who has repeatedly been attacked by Trump on Twitter and at Rallies, says this betrayal was worse than the president’s attacks.

“It’s really one of the more painful aspects of this entire two years. I mean the president’s attacks and assaults are one thing, but this is my institution, this is my Justice Department betraying us,” Page said. “And there’s an element of, or at least there’s a claim that, ‘Well, this is congressional oversight and we had to do it.’ I have been a part of both these institutions for a long time, and I know what it looks like when the department is trying to protect people and protect information, and I know what it looks like when they’re not. There were plenty of ways to fulfill their congressionally mandated oversight responsibility without politicizing our messages, without shoveling them out in the way that they did.”

Though the recent DOJ Inspector General’s report found no evidence that Page let her personal feelings toward Trump interfere with her work at the FBI, according to Page, it’s too little too late. Page has been a constant target of Trump and his allies in Congress and the media, and the IG’s report has done little if anything to change that. As the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz sat ready to answer questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) read a long list of the Page/Strzok text messages in an apparent attempt to discredit the IG’s findings. It’s worth noting that Horowitz also found pro-Trump text threads between FBI agents.

“Two days later you see Lindsey Graham in the Senate spend 40 minutes reading text messages again,” Page said. “These are three years old, they’ve been described as immaterial ultimately by the Inspector General, and yet we’re still talking about them.”

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