Maybe my memory is failing me. Or maybe it isn’t.
I’m having trouble remembering the last president of the United States to disparage the nation’s foremost law enforcement agency, the FBI.
Therein is where Donald J. Trump is doing things so very differently from his predecessors. He’s calling the FBI a lot of names. He alleges that morale is in the crapper; he says its leadership is in shambles; he is saying the FBI needs to be rebuilt.
Oh, and he’s calling the FBI’s role in the examination of Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election a “sham” and a “Democratic hoax.”
I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of an FBI agent. How would I like working for a government being run by a head of state and government who is so distrustful of my agency?
If the president is going to contend that morale is so lousy, perhaps he is playing a major role in flushing it down a sewer hole.
He’s also been disparaging the attorney general, whose agency — the Justice Department — controls the FBI. Trump dislikes that AG Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia-election meddling probe, as he should have done. The president’s reaction has been to send signals that Sessions’s time as AG might be dwindling.
Of course, there’s also the issue of Trump questioning the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia did meddle in the election and that Vladimir Putin issued the order to do it. Putin told the president he didn’t meddle — and that denial from the former head of the Soviet spy agency is good enough for Donald Trump.
Strange. Very strange.