Trump criticisms hurting FBI morale: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE's criticism of the FBI is reportedly damaging morale among agents in the bureau, current and former FBI officials told The New York Times

The agency's new director is also reportedly under pressure to remove people whom he perceives as loyal to former Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mueller has subpoenaed Bannon in Russia probe: report MORE, including Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Trump earlier this month said on Twitter the FBI's "reputation is in tatters — worst in history!"  


The tweet followed reports of anti-Trump texts allegedly exchanged by two FBI employees working on the federal investigation into Russian interference in the election and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE's use of a private email server during her time as secretary of State.

Republicans in Congress have since grilled Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinGraham, Meadows go on the attack over Steele dossier FBI chief: Encryption is 'urgent public safety issue' FBI agents' text messages spur congressional probe into possible news leaks MORE over the impartiality of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah told the Times that Trump has “enormous respect for the thousands of rank-and-file FBI agents who make up the world’s most professional and talented law enforcement agency," but that top officials, including Comey, had tainted the agency's impartiality in pursuing justice. 

Trump in June nominated Christopher Wray to replace Comey, who he fired in May. Shah told the paper that Wray is "the right choice to clean up the misconduct at the highest levels of the FBI and give the rank-and-file confidence in their leadership.”

The House Judiciary Committee is reportedly preparing subpoenas for the two agents, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who allegedly exchanged the texts during the investigation, as well as McCabe and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.