Just when it seemed like things at Peter Strzok‘s hearing couldn’t get any weirder, they did.
Following a series of wild shouting matches and contentious statements railing against the investigation of the former FBI agent’s anti-Trump test messages, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD 8th District) asked him whether it was part of a deep state conspiracy orchestrated in part by Bruce Springsteen.
“Although this conspiracy does appear to be overwhelmingly Republican, if it exists, balance compels me to ask about my hero Bruce Springsteen,” Raskin said. “Unlike the others who are all Republican, Springsteen’s a Democrat, and he said the republic is under siege by a moron. Did you tell him to say that?”
“No,” Strzok replied.
The seemingly bizarre question was actually part of Raskin’s attempted defense of Strzok, in which he cited numerous insults of President Donald Trump, each time asking the ex-agent whether those attacks meant a conspiracy existed. Each time Strzok said they were not.
Raskin referenced remarks from Steve Bannon, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, and others, some of whom called Trump “a moron” and likened him to “an 11-year-old child.”
Again, Raskin asked, “Were all of these negative characterizations of Donald Trump part of a deep state GOP conspiracy engineered by you and your friends?”
Again, Strzok responded, “No.”
Concluding intentionally over the top questioning aimed at driving home his point, Raskin called the hearing “a circus and a kangaroo court run in Banana Republican fashion” that has brought disgrace to his colleagues, asking Strzok how lawmakers can “recover from the hole that has been dug here today.”
“Sir, America is strong,” Strzok said. “However bad I think I’ve seen it in my life, I am confident that the institutions [of] the American people will endure and be great. I have full faith in the United States and all the men and women and even in times of trial and tribulation, I have every confidence that we will emerge as great as we’ve ever been.”
Watch the clip above via CNN.
[Image via screengrab]