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Former FBI Director Comey Sends Message of Support to McCabe And Other FBI Officials

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey, whose firing by President Trump has triggered an obstruction of justice investigation, sent a heartfelt message of support to Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe following his earlier-than-expected resignation on Monday

“Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on,” Comey said in a tweet. “He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well.”

Comey added: “I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you.”

McCabe’s abrupt resignation follows recent conversations with FBI Director Christopher Wray, who warned about a forthcoming inspector general report on the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation.

Trump and other Republicans have accused McCabe of political bias in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email use as secretary of state. Trump even claimed McCabe played an influential role in the bureau’s decision not to seek charges against Clinton.

The accusations began when his wife, Jill McCabe, was a Democratic candidate for state Senate in Virginia and received nearly $500,000 in donations from the political organization of Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend of the Clintons. 

The FBI determined there was no conflict because McCabe did not oversee the investigation while his wife was still running.

Still, McCabe has been the primary target of a campaign by Trump and other Republicans to undermine confidence in the top ranks of the FBI amid the Russia investigation.

It was revealed last week that Trump urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to pressure the new FBI director, Chris Wray, to fire McCabe. Wray refused and threatened to resign if he was asked to do it again. 

The New York Times reports that Wray suggested McCabe take a demotion. Instead, he stepped down and will take a leave of absence until the is eligible for retirement in a few weeks. 

President Exaggerates Missing Texts Involving FBI Agent Accused of anti-Trump bias

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump pounced on news that the FBI is missing text messages involving a top counter-intelligence official who was removed from the special counsel’s investigation of Russian meddling because of an anti-Trump bias.

In a Tuesday morning tweet, the president suggested the five months’ worth of missing text messages from the agent, Peter Strzok, is “one of the biggest stories on a long time.”

Trouble is, Trump overstated the number of missing texts – “perhaps 50,000” – prompting the Justice Department to correct the president.

Hundreds of text messages between Strzok and lawyer Lisa Page were released to reporters and Congress last month. The FBI released additional text messages on Friday, saying a computer glitch caused the messages to be improperly stored.

The Justice Department is trying to recover the messages.

Trump and conservative allies have pointed to the messages in an aggressively targeted campaign to suggest the special counsel investigation is a “witch hunt” perpetrated by anti-Trump investigators.

Trump Accuses ‘Deep State’ DOJ of Ignoring Clinton Aide Huma Abedin

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s attacks on his intelligence agencies continued Tuesday morning when he suggested the Justice Department is part of the “deep state” that “must finally act” to jail Huma Abedin, a top Hillary Clinton aide.

“Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others,” Trump tweeted.

Huma Abedin, via Wikipedia

Trump’s “deep state” comment suggests the Justice Department is composed of powerful interests working to undermine him.

Trump appears to be referring to reports that Abedin forwarded e-mails from her Yahoo account that included passwords to government systems. Millions of Yahoo accounts were hacked.

Trump Tweets FBI Is ‘TAINTED’ Because Salacious Dossier Is Unsubstantiated

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The salacious dossier that claims Donald Trump and Russia may have colluded to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign remain unsubstantiated, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified before Congress last week.

Trump and conservative lawmakers are pouncing on McCabe’s testimony to suggest the FBI’s top ranks are biased against the president and are bent on bringing him down.

The dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump said the dossier is “bogus” and the FBI is “TAINTED.”

But what Trump didn’t mention is that special counsel is still investigating the report and may determine it has credibility. Furthermore, the special counsel investigation has already charged four people connected to Trump without relying on the dossier. 

Trump Slams Deputy FBI Director Who Plans to Retire Soon

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump continued his tirade Sunday against Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is expected to retire in a few months following more than a year of attacks by some congressional Republicans.

Citing a Fox News report, Trump claimed in a tweet Sunday morning that “FBI’s Andrew McCabe, ‘in addition to his wife getting all of this money from M (Clinton Puppet), he was using, allegedly, his FBI Official Email Account to promote her campaign. You obviously cannot do this. These were the people who were investigating Hillary Clinton.'”

The tweet follows two others by Trump on Saturday, when the president slammed McCabe and former FBI director James Comey.

“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?” Trump tweeted

Trump’s misleading tweet is alluding to McCabe’s wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, whose failed state Senate campaign in 2015 collected donations from the Virginia Democratic Party and Common Good VA, the super PAC led by Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton supporter. Neither Clinton nor her family donated to Dr. McCabe.

What Trump also fails to mention is that McCabe was not leading the bureau’s investigation of Clinton. His “oversight role” began in February 2016, months after his wife’s campaign ended.

Also on Tuesday, Trump suggested McCabe is waiting to retire until he’s eligible for full pension benefits.

“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!” Trump tweeted

Trump and some Republicans have ramped up their criticism of the FBI as the special counsel investigation continues to widen its investigation into possible collusion between the president’s campaign and Russia.

Critics of Trump say the president is becoming exceedingly anxious about the investigation and is relying on diversionary tactics.

FBI Agents Strike Back Against Trump’s Attacks on Bureau

FBI photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Active and retired FBI agents are not shying away from President Trump’s continuing rhetoric that the bureau’s “reputation is in tatters.”

“Attacks on our character and demeaning comments will not deter Agents from continuing to do what we have always done—dedicate our lives to protecting the American people,” the FBI Agents Association, FBIAA, said in a statement on Tuesday, without mentioning Trump by name, Fortune reports.

On Dec. 3, Trump tweeted about the FBI: “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.”

The FBI Agents Association listed hundreds of cases that have been solved by hard-working agents to make the country safer.

“Controversies of the day fade, but the sworn duty of Special Agent endures,” the statement reads. “Special Agents are focused on the Constitution and protecting the public. Their works should be recognized, not denigrated.”

FBI Director Defends Agents Against Dubious Trump Attacks

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray defended his bureau against repeated attacks from President Trump and sought to assure employees and agents that they’re appreciated and admired. 

Responding to the president’s unfunded and dubious claims on Twitter that the FBI’s standing was “the worst in History,” Wray sent an email to the bureau’s 35,000 agents and support staff and said he is “inspired by example after example of professionalism and dedication to justice demonstrated around the bureau. It is truly an honor to represent you,” The New York Times reports

Wray, whom Trump nominated to replace fired FBI Director James Comey, didn’t mention the president by name but showed his loyalty is to his employees, not the president. Wray has been on the job for about four months.

Trump has become more vociferous and conspiratorial as the special council investigation continues to heat up and get closer to his inner circle.

Wray encouraged his employees to ignore criticism and continue to focus on enforcing the law and Constitution.

Baltimore Sun: Trump’s Tweetstorm Slamming FBI Rings Shallow

By Editorial Board
Baltimore Sun

It’s not every day that a sitting president savages as “in tatters” the reputation of the federal government’s top law enforcement arm, but it is a fairly common practice for those who have something to fear from police and prosecutors to attack them as biased, ineffectual or dishonest. Given that Donald Trump’s extraordinary claim that the agency’s standing is the “worst in history” came not long after his former national security adviser admitted to lying to an FBI agent about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, Americans can draw their own conclusions as to what’s going on.

Nothing much surrounding President Trump’s latest frenetic Twitter storm is especially shocking. Not Michael T. Flynn’s guilty plea. Not the prospect that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is closing in on the president’s inner circle. And certainly not Mr. Trump’s customary counter-punch strategy directed mostly at familiar targets, former FBI Director James B. Comey and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. What would have been far more surprising would have been for Mr. Trump to remain silent and not give the nation further reason to suspect that he is seeking to obstruct justice.

Perhaps the most notable moment of all came Sunday when Mr. Trump’s attorney, John Dowd, took responsibility for an especially problematic Saturday tweet in which the president admitted he knew Mr. Flynn had lied to the FBI before he fired him — which strongly suggests he knew his adviser had committed a crime when he asked Mr. Comey to go easy on him after the firing (something Mr. Comey testified to under oath before Congress). Mr. Dowd said he dictated that particular tweet and sent it to the White House social media director to be posted.

Does anyone seriously believe Mr. Dowd actually did that? Or was he just protecting his client from a criminal charge (keeping in mind that the tweet in question was one of 10 on the subject of the Russia investigation from Mr. Trump’s account)?

Also in classic Trumpian fashion, the president took a small development and blew it entirely out of context.

To read more click here.

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