(NBC News) President Trump promised to “rebuild the FBI” Friday as he departed to deliver a speech to the bureau’s academy graduates Friday.
As he left the White House on his way to the speech in Quantico, Virginia, Mr. Trump said “it’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI, but we’re going to rebuild the FBI, it’ll be bigger and better than ever.”
The president has been a frequent critic of the FBI since his firing of former director James Comey and the launch of a special counsel investigation into his campaign’s possible ties to Russia during the 2016 election.
Former FBI agents say the accusations hurt.
“The men and women see it as politics. There is no doubt about it,” says retired agent Peter Ahern. “It bothers them. They love the institution. They love the work.”
President Trump also repeated his denial of any collusion with Russia during the election.
That’s still an unanswered question.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged four people so far. Two pleaded guilty and are cooperating, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
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