(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump launched a fresh attack Sunday on the credibility of his own FBI, responding to revelations that an FBI agent was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian election meddling because of anti-Trump text messages.
Trump, two days after his former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, again denied that he directed FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating Flynn.
The Republican president offered a running Twitter commentary Sunday amid renewed focus on Mueller’s probe and Flynn’s decision to cooperate with the investigation as part of his plea agreement. Democrats said the developments suggested growing evidence of coordination between Trump’s circle and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“This president has been obsessed with this investigation, always saying there’s nothing there, but each week, another shoe drops, where we see more evidence of continuing outreach from Russians and some response from the Trump campaign and Trump individuals,” said Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
In a series of tweets, Trump questioned the direction of the federal law enforcement agency and wrote that after Comey, whom Trump fired in May, the FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters — worst in History!” He vowed to “bring it back to greatness.” The president also retweeted a tweet that said new FBI Director Chris Wray “needs to clean house.”
The president seized upon reports that a veteran FBI counterintelligence agent was removed from Mueller’s team last summer after the discovery of an exchange of text messages that were viewed as potentially anti-Trump. The agent, Peter Strzok, had also worked on the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, said Mueller removed Strzok from the team “immediately upon learning of the allegations.” He would not elaborate on the nature of…