United States President Donald Trump has intensified his accusatory tone with the nation’s top law enforcement agency, calling the FBI biased and whose reputation for fairness was “in tatters”.
A series of Tweets over the weekend, reinforced by comments made to journalists today, the embattled President has taken a bellicose posture against the organisation that, just days earlier, helped secure a plea deal and a pledge for future cooperation from his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn into its Russia collusion probe.
The President’s attacks on an independent investigative agency like the FBI has seen former officials and lawmakers push back at what is being viewed as an effort to undermine the institution’s credibility.
The retired army general, Trump’s campaign official and fired national security advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to having lied to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, among the most high profile indictments brought since the Special Counsel Robert Mueller began investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the Presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
But President Trump has been on the offensive ever since.
“I feel badly for General Flynn, I feel very badly, he’s led a very strong life and I feel very badly John. I will say this Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI, nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life. I think it’s a shame. Hillary Clinton on the Fourth of July weekend went to the FBI, not under oath, it was the most incredible thing anyone’s ever seen, she lied many times, nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and it’s like they ruined his life, it’s very unfair,” says Trump.
In Sunday Tweets, Trump accused fired FBI Director James Comey of dishonesty eliciting fierce defences from former high-ranking officials including Comey who, in his own Tweet, quoted from his June testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the FBI was honest, strong and always independent.
Ivan Eland is with the Centre for Peace and Liberty.
“Flynn has many potential crimes to be charged with, and he was only charged with lying to the FBI on two occasions. Therefore, I would say it’s definitely ‘a sweet deal’. That means he’s got something that could either affect Jared Kushner, or the President or maybe Donald Trump Jr., and so, this should be very worrisome for the President,” says Eland.