Washington [USA]: United States President Donald Trump hailed the graduates of the FBI National Academy, though just an hour after criticising the principal agency.
Trump, in a speech during the ceremony, praised the local law enforcement and FBI agents.
“With me as your the president, America’s police will have a true friend and loyal champion in the White House – more loyal than anyone else can be,” Trump said.
Since dismissing FBI director James Comey, for his alleged collusion with Russia, the president has publically derided the FBI’s reputation, as Special Counsel Robert Mueller seeks to determine whether campaign advisors for Trump colluded with the Russian government.
The FBI director earlier contradicted Trump’s claim that his agency was in “tatters”, defending the bureau’s reputation as “quite good”.
Director Christopher Wray spoke out at a House Judiciary Committee hearing just days after Trump launched a Twitter tirade against his agency. Trump had tweeted the FBI’s reputation was at its “worst in history” after years of leadership by former director James Comey.
Mueller, who served as FBI director during the George W Bush and Barack Obama administrations, has so far secured multiple indictments and guilty pleas as part of his investigation.
Meanwhile, Trump congratulated the FBI Academy’s graduates, reiterated his tough-on-crime stance and ramped up his anti-immigrant rhetoric.
“We believe criminals who kill police officers should get the death penalty,” Mr Trump said.
He also mocked the visa lottery system, describing the system as if it was a lottery draw on television.
Earlier this month, the anti-Russia probe reached Trump’s inner circle, with ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s admission that he lied to the FBI about his contacts with a senior-level Russian official. (ANI)