Loudoun County Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) appeared on the Fox News program "Fox and Friends" Thursday morning to respond to a text message sent by FBI agent Peter Strzok to his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page, that called "Loudon (sic)" residents "ignorant hillbillys (sic)."
Aside from Strzok misspelling hillbillies and Loudoun, many have questioned the accuracy of Strzok's characterization, given the various accolades and distinctions the wealthy, affluent Loudoun County has achieved.
The recently disclosed text messages refer to Virginians who voted against then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's wife, Jill, who ran for a state Senate seat in 2015. Jill McCabe lost her campaign to incumbent state Sen. Dick Black (R-13th).
Strzok's text said, "Disappointing, but look at the district map. Loudon is being gentrified, but it's still largely ignorant hillbillys [sic]. Good for her for running, but curious if she's energized or never again."
On Fox and Friends, Higgins responded by saying Loudoun has a "highly educated population," noting the county's claim as the "wealthiest county in the country" because of its leading household income of more than $130,000.
"The real ignorance lies with the ignorant statist elitists that live inside the beltway and never get outside the beltway," Higgins said
"I have nothing but admiration for people with a blue collar background. We have a vibrant rural economy ... This is the fastest-growing county in the country, the wealthiest county in the country ... Most of the people work in the Dulles corridor in technology or defense industry jobs. We have a population that is highly educated and they are hardly ignorant hillbillies," Higgins added.
When asked what people in Loudoun are saying about being called hillbillies, Higgins said, "I think people laugh it off, they figure this is what is going on inside the beltway, it's a shame. Loudoun County is a great place to live, and I don't understand why people want to assume things they don't know anything about."
Loudoun County Supervisor Ron Meyer (R-Broad Run) was also quick to condemn Strzok's remarks Wednesday night, saying the FBI agent owes local residents an apology.
"Here are some facts about Loudoun," Meyer wrote on Facebook. "No. 1 in US for household income ($134,464); led US in investment for counties of its size, with $3.3 billion of investment 2017; 500+ women-owned farms."
Loudoun County is also home to more than 70 data centers, with approximately 70 percent of the world's Internet running through the county on a daily basis.
Strzok's texts were revealed as part of an investigation into alleged FBI bias stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible connections between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian agents or people acting on behalf of Russia.
Andrew McCabe stepped down from his job as acting FBI director Jan. 28 ahead of his planned retirement this spring. A 22-year veteran of the FBI, McCabe has been publicly and repeatedly lambasted over the past year by President Donald Trump, who has accused him of bias because of his wife's political connections and his role into an FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.
Times-Mirror Managing Editor Trevor Baratko contributed to this report. Contact him at email@example.com.