President Donald Trump launched a fresh attack Sunday on the credibility of the FBI, responding to revelations that an FBI agent was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian election meddling because of anti-Trump text messages.
Trump, two days after his former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, again denied that he directed FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating Flynn.
The Republican president slammed the organization through Twitter commentary Sunday.
In a series of tweets, Trump questioned the direction of the federal law enforcement agency and wrote that after Comey, whom Trump fired in May, the FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters — worst in History!” He vowed to “bring it back to greatness.” The president also retweeted a post saying new FBI Director Chris Wray “needs to clean house.”
The president seized on reports that a veteran FBI counterintelligence agent was removed from Mueller’s team last summer after the discovery of an exchange of text messages that were viewed as potentially anti-Trump. The agent, Peter Strzok, had also worked on the investigation of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Trump tweeted Sunday —
Tainted (no, very dishonest?) FBI “agent’s role in Clinton probe under review.” Led Clinton Email probe. @foxandfriends Clinton money going to wife of another FBI agent in charge.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017
Trump and many of his supporters have frequently criticized the integrity of the investigation, claiming a close relationship between Mueller and Comey and by pointing to political contributions to Democrats made by many lawyers on the team.
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Mueller has been investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.Mueller’s investigation has so far netted charges against four people, with the most recent criminal case brought Friday when Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted —
I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
The Associated Press contributed to this article