As criticism over FBI director James Comey’s abrupt firing continued to spread, White House officials have reportedly scrapped President Donald Trump’s plans to visit the FBI’s headquarters, NBC News reported on Thursday.
The trip to the bureau’s Washington, D.C. office was planned for as early as Thursday morning, the report said.
“I believe that is very likely that that takes place sometime in the next few days,” said White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on CBS News’ “This Morning” early Thursday.
However, the idea was later dropped after FBI officials told the White House that such a visit would not be ideal, and that it “would not draw many smiles and cheers,”NBC reported.
“My sense is most FBI employees feel a loyalty to Comey,” an employee at the headquarters said to NBC News. “And whether they agree or disagree with the way he handled the email case, like and respect him … Trump would not be well-received at headquarters.”
Though the White House deputy press secretary painted a gloomy scene of the FBI community after Comey’s dismissal on Tuesday, saying that there was a “a near uprising” and that “rank-and-file members within the FBI had lost confidence in the director,” reports have emerged that conflicted with the White House’s official accounts.
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday that he held “Director Comey in the absolute highest regard,” and that Comey had “enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day.”
Other former agents who worked with Comey for years weighed in. “I’m literally in tears right now. That’s all I have to say,” one agent told Politico.
“We just have no idea why this happened. No idea,” added another former top FBI official. “No one knew this was coming. Everyone is just shocked that this happened.”
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