This past week, the White House reportedly scrapped President Trump‘s planned visit to FBI headquarters after they learned that he’d likely receive a cold reception, inside sources told NBC News.
In the wake of the fallout over Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, the White House was still planning to go through with the visit as late as this Thursday. But according to the NBC report, the idea was dropped later that day “after the FBI told the White House that the optics would not be good.”
From NBC News:
FBI officials made clear that the president would not draw many smiles and cheers, having just unceremoniously sacked a very popular director.
And FBI agents said that, while many of them voted for Trump, after the president unceremoniously fired a very popular director, few were ready to meet him at the bureau with open arms.
Early on, the White House claimed that the reason Trump fired Comey was because of dissatisfaction and a lack of trust over his performance among the FBI’s “rank-and-file.”
“The DOJ lost confidence in Director Comey. Bipartisan members of Congress made it clear that they had lost confidence in Director Comey. And, most importantly, the rank-and-file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director,” White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
“We’ve heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things,” she added. “In fact, the President will be meeting with acting Director (Andrew) McCabe later today to discuss that very thing — the morale at the FBI — as well as make an offer to go directly to the FBI if he feels that that’s necessary and appropriate.”
But during a Senate hearing this Thursday, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe directly contradicted that account.
“Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does today,” McCabe told senators. “We have a diversity of opinions about many things but I can confidently tell you the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey.”
“I don’t believe there was a crisis of confidence in the FBI,” he later added.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore