In a statement that prompted comparisons with speeches given by “authoritarian dictators,” Florida GOP representative Francis Rooney told MSNBC, that he wanted “leaders at the Department of Justice and the FBI to “purge officials [who] are politically biased against Donald Trump.” Watch the exchange below.
According to USA Today, Rooney said that “people need a good, clean government,” and went on to mention FBI agent Peter Strzok who was removed from the Russia investigation by Mueller after the discovery that he had sent text messages “disparaging Trump.”
Rooney reportedly also “raised concern about Justice Department official Bruce Ohr […] demoted for hiding ties to Fusion GPS, the company behind a notorious dossier alleging Trump’s ties to Russia.” Rooney described “these revelations” as “nerve wracking” and told MSNBC host, Hallie Jackson, that he would like to see agency directors do a purge, that would highlight the work of the “great agents and great lawyers,” rather than “these people that are kind of the deep state.”
In the wake of Rooney’s comments, Twitter user and former Florida GOP congressman, Joe Scarborough tweeted, “Been reading biographies of Stalin lately? Stop. Now.” Author Brian Klass, a former campaign strategist and frequent Trump critic wrote that Rooney’s comments reflect an “ongoing, well-strategized attempt to politicize rule of law to create impunity for the leader and his entourage - so Republicans can try to discredit Mueller’s eventual damning report.”