Trump attacks FBI

Trump attacks FBI
US President over the weekend lashed out and verbally attack the Federal Bureau of Investigation through a series of Tweets. He even noted that the reputation..

US President over the weekend lashed out and verbally attack the Federal Bureau of Investigation through a series of Tweets. He even noted that the reputation of America’s premier intelligence agency was in “tatters.”

Background

The relations between US and Russia have always been fractious. The Cold War, which lasted from 1947 to 1991, found much of the world divided into the Western Bloc (United States and its allies) and the Eastern Bloc (Soviet Union and its allies).

US President Donald Trump has advocated for better relations with Russia and has voiced his admiration for Putin. His words have been scrutinized by US intelligence agencies who believe that Russia interfered with the US Presidential elections in 2016. During the G-20, held in the first week of July, Trump and Putin were scheduled to meet for twenty minutes. The meeting lasted close to two hours. In the meeting the two countries agreed to a ceasefire in the Syrian conflict. 

The consensus amongst the intelligence community in the US is that members from the Russian government interfered with the US elections to destabilize the presidential bid of former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. It has also been reported that the Russian government tried to disrupt Clinton’s campaign through cyberattacks and email leaks and largely favoured Donald Trump over her. In January 2017, before he stepped from the office of the US Presidency, Obama imposed fresh sanctions of Russia and ejaculated certain Russian diplomats from the country.

Trump has stated that he believes Putin when he stated that Russia did not play a role in the election meddling. “Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said of the Russian president, in a conversation with reporters onboard Air Force One. “But he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he is very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth. Don’t forget. All he said was he never did that, he didn’t do that. I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”

Analysis

There is currently an ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller (former FBI Chief) on all matters regarding the collusion. In November 2017, Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about meetings with Russia's ambassador right before Donald Trump became President. Reports have since emerged that the President’s son-in-law and Senior White House advisor, Jared Kushner was the one who directed Flynn to establish contact with the Russian government prior to Trump Presidency. Details can be found here.

Reports emerged over the recently that Mueller had dismissed an FBI officer from the investigation during the summer after he was discovered to have made anti-Trump remarks in text messages.

Through a series of Tweets, Trump lashed out at the FBI and former FBI Chief James Comey. He wrote, “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.” In 2016, an FBI investigation concluded that Hillary Clinton did not act unlawful when she used a private serve as the Secretary of State.

Trump added, “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.”

Mueller stated through a spokesperson that the officer who had made anti-Trump remarks was dismissed from the investigating team as soon as the messages were discovered.

In addition, some FBI agents, including Comey responded to Trump’s accusation. "Every day, FBI Special Agents put their lives on the line to protect the American public from national security and criminal threats," Thomas O'Connor, the president of the advocacy group FBI Agents Association, said in a statement Sunday evening. "Agents perform these duties with unwavering integrity and professionalism and a focus on complying with the law and the Constitution. This is why the FBI continues to be the premier law enforcement agency in the world. FBI Agents are dedicated to their mission; suggesting otherwise is simply false."

Comey posted an Instagram photograph of FBI agents noting, “I want the American people to know this truth: The FBI is honest. The FBI is strong. And the FBI is, and always will be, independent.” Current FBI director Christopher A. Wray is yet to respond.

Assessment

Our assessment is that this is not the first time the US President has taken to Twitter to lash out at American institutions. He has often lashed out against the media deeming unfavorable stories as “fake news.” He has also cast doubt on the efficiency of intelligence agencies in America by noting that they could be wrong about their assertion that Russia interfered with US elections. The latest series of Tweets indicates that perhaps Trump is nervous over the scope of Mueller’s investigation and is lashing out. However, in the long run, the US President seems to be intentionally undermining the very pillars that constitute to the US democracy. 

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