Trump Vows to ‘Rebuild’ FBI, Deflects Questions About Flynn PardonBy
President Donald Trump said that “people are very, very angry” about the conduct of the FBI and said he would “rebuild” the bureau as he left the White House on Friday to participate in a graduation ceremony for police undergoing FBI training in Virginia.
“It’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI, but we’re going to rebuild the FBI,” Trump said as he prepared to board the presidential helicopter to travel to Marine Base Quantico, home of the FBI’s national academy for law enforcement officers.
Republicans are targeting the credibility of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election by highlighting reports that two FBI officials texted each other negative personal opinions about the president during the campaign. Trump appeared to be referencing those concerns in his remarks.
“It is very sad. When you look at those documents and how they have done that -- is really, really disgraceful,” he said.
It was not clear what he meant by his promise to “rebuild” the bureau. He tweeted on Dec. 3 that the FBI’s “reputation is in Tatters” because of alleged mismanagement by James Comey, the director he fired earlier this year.
Trump also said in response to a question that “I don’t want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet. We will see what happens.” Flynn, his first national security adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI on Dec. 1 and is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation. Trump didn’t elaborate on the remark.
“I can say this, when you look at what has gone on with the FBI and the Justice Department, people are very, very angry,” he said.