House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Thursday that he agrees with President Trump’s assessment that he was the subject of an attempted “coup” during the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Appearing at a Washington Post Live event, McCarthy pointed to text messages between two senior FBI officials involved in the probe of possible connections between Trump associates and Russia that showed an intense dislike of Trump and fear that he might win.

“Their actions are a coup,” McCarthy told post reporter Robert Costa, who pressed the top Republican in the House on whether he believed the word “coup” was appropriate.

“I do not believe they were abiding by the rule of law based on what they said,” McCarthy said, also suggesting those involved in the probe were biased against Trump.

Trump said last month that he considered the investigation, which was taken over by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, to be “illegal.”

“It was started illegally. Everything about it was crooked,” Trump told reporters. “This was an attempted coup. This was an attempted takedown of a president, and we beat them. We beat them.”

The texts McCarthy referenced were exchanged by FBI agent Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who were key players in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election. The two were also involved in a romantic relationship.

Among the more damaging texts that emerged was one in which Strzok assured Page in August 2016 that “we’ll stop” Trump from making it to the White House. Both were later removed from the investigation.

A June 2018 report from the Justice Department’s inspector general noted concerns about the “we’ll stop” text and other texts that “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”

“However, we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions,” the report said.

Strzok told the inspector general that he did not recall sending the text but believed “it was intended to reassure Page that Trump would not be elected, not to suggest that he would do something to impact the investigation.”

Strzok also said that “he did not take any steps to try to affect the outcome of the presidential election.”

Similarly, Page stated that “the FBI’s decision to keep the Russia investigation confidential before the election shows that they did not take steps to impact the outcome of the election,” according to the report.

Mueller's report did not find sufficient evidence to bring charges of criminal conspiracy with Russia against Trump or anyone associated with his campaign. It did not offer a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.

Attorney General William P. Barr later concluded that there was not sufficient evidence for obstruction of justice, but House Democrats are continuing to pursue that issue.