Dem: Trump puts down 'the very institutions that keep us free'
© Camille Fine

Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierTestimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense Sondland could provide more clues on Ukraine controversy Equal Rights Amendment and Justice Ginsburg's 'hope' comments MORE (D-Calif.) sharply criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE on Tuesday for his repeated attacks against Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other FBI agents connected to the special counsel investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections.

Speaking on CNN, Speier said Tuesday that Trump was "constantly putting down the very institutions that keep us free."

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"I think the president has always used the same tactic," the California Democrat said. "When he is being attacked, when he is being scrutinized, he takes aim at someone else and that's what he's doing right here."

Trump "does not respect the rule of law," Speier said.

"Let's be really clear: This president does not respect the rule of law, nor does he respect the various agencies ... that are charged with the responsibility of protecting us," she said.

"If you think about the pattern over the last year, he is constantly putting down the very institutions that keep us free," she added.

Trump made headlines over the weekend when he attacked McCabe, who is possibly retiring in March. In several tweets, Trump needled McCabe over his handling of the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump 'lynching' firestorm is sign of things to come Hillary Clinton has said she'd consider 2020 race if she thought she could win: report Nielsen on leaving Trump administration: 'Saying no and refusing to do it myself was not going to be enough' MORE's use of a private email server.

"How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?" the president tweeted. 

Other Democratic lawmakers have also criticized Trump's tweets attacking McCabe. Fellow California Rep. Ted Lieu (D) said Sunday that the messages were a "gift" to Robert Mueller's special counsel office.

“Trump’s Twitter feed is the gift that keeps on giving. Merry Christmas Robert Mueller,” Lieu tweeted.