President Trump Friday praised members of a graduating class at the FBI Academy as underappreciated heroes, but on his way there he also pointed out the bureau’s failings and vowed to “rebuild” so “it’ll be bigger and better than ever.”
The London Daily Mail said Trump, in preparation for his trip to speak at the academy, said some agents have exhibited “disgraceful” conduct.
At the academy, he criticized those who unleash “malicious attacks” on law enforcement, promising he would have the backs of officers who are protecting America.
Police officers, he said, “have been subjected to malicious attacks on their character and integrity.”
“This anti-police sentiment is wrong, and it’s dangerous, and we will not stand for it,” he said. “We believe criminals who kill police officers should get the death penalty.”
He continued, “With me as your president, America’s police will have a true friend and loyal champion in the White House – more loyal than anyone else can be.”
However, it was just before he left for the graduation, The Hill newspaper reported, that he unleashed criticism of the agency.
“It’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI. But we’re going to rebuild the FBI; it’ll be bigger and better than ever,” he said before leaving for Quantico, Virginia.
He was referring to the much-criticized investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged “Russian collusion” with his 2016 campaign.
It’s been revealed that more than 90 percent of the investigators on Mueller’s team donated money to the Hillary Clinton campaign. One softened the wording of the draft report on Clinton’s mishandling of classified information, reducing the likelihood she would be referred for prosecution, and exchanged virulent anti-Trump text messages, even talking about an “insurance” plan should Trump win the presidency.
A poll, reported Friday, found more than half of Americans believe Mueller has a personal conflict of interest in the case.
Trump said revelations about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails were “really, really disgraceful” and it’s “a very sad thing to watch, I will tell you that.”
At the academy, Trump was on stage with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
He made clear he’s a supporter of law enforcement.
“These are great, great people. These are really heroes for all of us. The president of the United States has your back 100 percent,” Trump added. “I will fight for you and I will never, ever let you down. Ever.”
The Daily Beast reported it was the first speech at the FBI for Trump as president.
The report criticized the president for his comments and concerns.
“Rarely has there been such a wave of criticism directed at the FBI on the right, and particularly on Fox News, all of which amplifies Trump’s sense of persecution over Russia. (‘I had nothing to do with Russia, everybody knows,’ he insisted before the speech.) The wave hits as special prosecutor Robert Mueller has brought charges against or obtained guilty pleas from four top aides in barely a month.
“Enter Trump at the FBI National Academy on Friday morning. He got major applause and laugh lines from the assembled police and their families by vowing unshakeable support for cops and by lambasting their assumed mutual enemies. He took winking, euphemistic shots at immigrants and black people, both of whom he presented as criminals and terrorists; Barack Obama; and the media. In typical Trump fashion, he expressed it all in highly personalized tones,” the report said.
Trump also took shots at the violence in Chicago and Baltimore, fake news and the system – “it was rigged” – that let Hillary Clinton escape prosecution.
After speaking at the academy, the president toured Marine Helicopter Squadron One, which maintains and runs Marine One.