Trump criticisms hurting FBI morale: report
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 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 ComeyThis week: Negotiators hunt for coronavirus deal as August break looms FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Sally Yates to testify as part of GOP probe into Russia investigation MORE, including Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

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

ADVERTISEMENT

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 ClintonTrump vows challenge to Nevada bill expanding mail-in voting Biden should pick the best person for the job — not the best woman Juan Williams: The Trump Show grows tired 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 RosensteinFBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Sally Yates to testify as part of GOP probe into Russia investigation Graham releases newly declassified documents on Russia probe 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.