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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Trump ups the ante with attacks on 'disgraceful' FBI

The president made the remarks while leaving the White House for an event the bureau's headquarters

President Trump returns to the White House after an event at FBI headquarters - which he attended after attacking the bureau again. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
President Trump returns to the White House after an event at FBI headquarters - which he attended after attacking the bureau again. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Donald Trump doubled down on his criticism of the FBI on Friday as part of what many in Washington see as a concerted approach to discredit the inquiry into links between the president’s administration and Russia.

The president delivered his latest sally against the bureau as he was leaving the nation’s capital to attend an event at the FBI.

He said he was going “on behalf of the FBI ... But when everybody — not me — when everybody — the level of anger at what they’ve been witnessing with respect to the FBI is certainly very sad.

“It’s a shame what’s happened with [them],” the president told reporters at the White House before departing for an event at the bureau's academy in Quantico, Virginia. “It’s a very sad thing to watch.”

The president also appeared to threaten the current framework of the organisation, saying “we’re going to rebuild the FBI, it’ll be bigger and better than ever, but it is very sad when you look at those documents, and how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it.”

The president has been making political capital out of the revelations that senior FBI officials exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages while working on the 2016 probe of Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation the administration's links with Russia.

In other comments Mr Trump also seemed to leave the door open for a presidential pardon for his former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. “I don’t want to talk about pardons with Michael Flynn — yet. We’ll see what happens. Let’s see.”