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- A group of FBI agents pushed back on President Donald Trump’s tweets slamming the FBI on Sunday.
- Former FBI Director James Comey also fired back at Trump after he accused Comey of lying.
- Trump on Sunday had said the FBI’s reputation was “in Tatters.”
A group of FBI agents appeared to fire back at President Donald Trump after Trump slammed the agency on Sunday and said its reputation was “in Tatters.”
“Every day, FBI Special Agents put their lives on the line to protect the American public from national security and criminal threats,” Thomas O’Connor, the president of the advocacy group FBI Agents Association, said in a statement Sunday evening.
“Agents perform these duties with unwavering integrity and professionalism and a focus on complying with the law and the Constitution. This is why the FBI continues to be the premier law enforcement agency in the world. FBI Agents are dedicated to their mission; suggesting otherwise is simply false.”
While the statement did not mention Trump by name, it came hours after Trump called the FBI’s integrity into question in a series of early-morning tweets. Much of Trump’s ire was directed at James Comey, the FBI director whom Trump fired in May.
In one tweet, Trump accused Comey of lying about a conversation the two had in February concerning Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser. The president denied Comey’s sworn testimony from May in which Comey said Trump had asked him to drop an inquiry into Flynn.
“I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn,” Trump tweeted on Sunday. “Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!”
He later added: “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters – worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.”
On Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador and cut a cooperation deal in the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
On Saturday, news emerged that over the summer Mueller had dismissed from the investigation a top FBI agent who possibly exhibited an anti-Trump bias in text messages sent to a colleague. The agent had previously worked on the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
“Tainted (no, very dishonest?) FBI ‘agent’s role in Clinton probe under review,'” Trump tweeted. “Led Clinton Email probe. @foxandfriends Clinton money going to wife of another FBI agent in charge.”
“Now it all starts to make sense,” he later added.
Comey himself also appeared to push back on Trump’s claim Sunday evening, posting to Instagram a picture of FBI agents in the field accompanied by a quote from his June 8 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee:
“I want the American people to know this truth: The FBI is honest. The FBI is strong. And the FBI is, and always will be, independent.”