Current and former agents critical of president, saying he should provide agency with resources to finish Russia inquiry instead of saying more hollow words
Donald Trump was allegedly backed away from a planned visit to FBI headquarters in Washington, amid continued fury from current and former agents over the presidents abrupt firing of director James Comey.
What are you going to say? I love you FBI? And kiss babies and pose for images? said Ron Hosko, a former FBI deputy director and currently the president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, which provides support to officers who face criminal charges.
I think he only slapped the FBI in the face. It was disgraceful, outrageous, disgusting. These[ FBI agents] are people who have education, who have experience. They know what bullshit lookings and feels like.
On Thursday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated that Trump would visit FBI headquarters in the next few days. Later in the working day, White House officials told media sources he would not.
Instead of visiting the FBI to say more hollow words, Hosko said, the president should publicly ask the FBI what resources it needs to complete its investigation of possible links between Trump aides and Russia and then rapidly deliver them.
If the listing says we need 10 attorneys who are dedicated to this and wed like to handpick them, OK, make it happen, he said.
On Friday morning, the president proved little sign of contrition, writing on Twitter: James Comey better hope that there are no videotapes of our dialogues before he starts leaking to the press!
Louis Caprino, who served as an agent for 29 years and now operates a public safety program at Vincennes University in Indiana, said he didnt guess the president could now say much of anything to mend his relationship with the FBI.
Hes damned if he does, damned if he doesnt. Rather than words, his actions are either going to attain him or transgress him as a supporter of the FBI.
If he truly wants to show supporting and indicates hes behind relevant agencies, he needs to come up with the right successor for James Comey. Thats going to be a tough one for him.
Former agents said Comeys replacement should be independent, with a strong track record and broad bipartisan respect to earn a swift confirmation in the Senate someone, in fact, very much like Comey himself.
Visiting the FBI after a week of outrage and backlash would be for strictly optics reasons and in the FBI we are steadfastly averse to optics, said James Gagliano, a former chief of staff at the FBIs New York City field office.
Before the president fired Comey and the White House embarked on a week of contradictory statements about why he was fired and who was responsible, Trump had done a great job of supporting law enforcement, Hosko said.
Many law enforcement officials fall on the conservative side of the political spectrum, and Trump had eagerly pledged to support law enforcement after years of protests of police killing of black Americans and police reform under the Obama administration. Before the election, current FBI agents described an intensely anti-Hillary Clinton atmosphere within their agency.
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