Former Attorney General Eric Holder and ex-FBI Director James Comey fired back Sunday at President Trump, who claimed the FBI’s reputation is in “tatters” after its handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
“Nope. Not letting this go. The FBI’s reputation is not in 'tatters,'” Holder, who served as attorney general under President Obama, tweeted. “It’s composed of the same dedicated men and women who have always worked there and who do a great, apolitical job.”
Holder added, “You’ll find integrity and honesty at FBI headquarters and not at 1600 Penn Ave right now,” referring to the White House.
Trump earlier Sunday said that “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.”
The president’s tweet followed news that FBI agent Peter Strzok was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia because of anti-Trump text messages he may have sent.
Meanwhile, Comey tweeted what seemed to be a response of his own, quoting a statement he gave to the Senate Intelligence Committee last June: “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.”
The FBI Agents Association also chimed in. FBIAA President Thomas O’Connor said: “Every day, FBI Special Agents put their lives on the line to protect the American public from national security and criminal threats. Agents perform these duties with unwavering integrity and professionalism and a focus on complying with the law and the Constitution.”
O’Connor continued, ”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.”
Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired by Trump after she sent a memo instructing Justice Department attorneys not to defend the administration's refugee ban, tweeted Sunday night: "The FBI is in 'tatters?' No. The only thing in tatters is the President’s respect for the rule of law. The dedicated men and women of the FBI deserve better."
Trump frequently has asked why the FBI and the Justice Department haven’t filed criminal charges against Clinton.
Later Sunday, he tweeted, “Now it all starts to make sense!” in response to word that the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General is reviewing the role Strzok played in the Clinton email investigation.