As the FBI’s Russia investigation draws closer to him, President Trump unleashed an extraordinary assault on the law enforcement agency, calling it a biased institution whose reputation for fairness was “in tatters,” the New York Times reports. Trump tweeted that the FBI’s standing is the “worst in history.” The attack was one of the harshest in a generation on an agency that two days earlier had helped secure a guilty plea and a pledge of cooperation from the president’s first national security adviser. Current and former FBI officials and lawmakers rebuked the president over his efforts to undermine the FBI’s credibility as it investigates whether his campaign colluded with Russian officials to sway the 2016 election.
Thomas O’Connor, president of the association representing FBI agents, defended their integrity, saying that agents “are dedicated to their mission,” and that “suggesting otherwise is simply false.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said the frenzied nature of the president’s tweets suggested that he knew that special counsel Robert Mueller was building an obstruction of justice case against him. Eric Holder, President Obama’s first attorney general, responded to the president’s tweets with one of his own defending the bureau. “You’ll find integrity and honesty at FBI headquarters and not at 1600 Penn Ave right now,” Holder wrote.