Skip to content
The Editors

Why Does Trump Want a New FBI Headquarters?

The president’s proposal would leave the bureau with a more expensive, less secure facility. Who benefits?

Not a pretty picture.

Not a pretty picture.

Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Amid the $1 trillion in new spending Republicans offered in their coronavirus stimulus package this week was an oddity: In addition to funding for unemployment insurance and small-business loans, the proposal would appropriate $1.75 billion to build a new headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington. Asked why such a measure was included in a pandemic-relief bill, Republican senators suffered a collective loss of memory.

It was included because the White House insisted. Since taking office, President Donald Trump has expressed a keen interest in the FBI’s accommodations. In 2017, his administration scrapped a plan to move the headquarters to a campus in Maryland or Virginia, and then proposed a new building on the existing site.