Trump criticisms hurting FBI morale: report
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum 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 ComeyMystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records NYT publisher: DOJ phone records seizure a 'dangerous incursion' on press freedom Trump DOJ seized phone records of New York Times reporters 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 ClintonCommunion vote puts spotlight on Hispanic Catholics Trump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Memo: Some Democrats worry rising crime will cost them 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 RosensteinHouse Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week Media leaders to meet with Garland to discuss leak investigations 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.