Former Attorney General Eric Holder is weighing into the he-said he-said of American politics in 2017, refuting comments from President Donald Trump that the FBI’s reputation is in tatters.
Mr Holder, who served as the chief of the Justice Department under President Barack Obama, said that there’s more integrity at the FBI than there is in the West Wing.
“Nope. Not letting this go. The FBI’s reputation is not in ‘tatters,’” Mr Holder tweeted. “It’s composed of the same dedicated men and women who have always worked there and who do a great, apolitical job. You’ll find integrity and honesty at FBI headquarters and not at 1600 Penn Ave right now.”
Mr Holder was responding to tweets from Mr Trump earlier Sunday, when the President sought to discredit the agency, which has investigated Russia’s meddling in the 2016 campaign. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been in charge of an investigation into that meddling since earlier this year, after former FBI Director James Comey was fired from his position in part because of his Russia investigation.
“After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters – worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness,” Mr Trump tweeted.
Mr Trump’s tweet storm Sunday morning that sought to discredit the FBI came just days after a former top official of his in the White House plead guilty to lying to the agency about contacts with Russian officials. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn agreed to a plea deal with Mr Mueller’s investigation Friday in exchange for full cooperation with the investigation.
While Mr Flynn’s guilty plea that he had lied to the FBI about making contact with Russians during the presidential transition process last year, it has been speculated that Mr Mueller might use the leverage he now has over Mr Flynn to pressure him into providing damaging details about others in the Trump inner circle.