Thursday 19 October 2017

FBI agents changing Facebook profile to photos of James Comey in gesture normally reserved for slain colleagues

Mr Comey wrote a letter to colleagues saying he 'will be fine'

James Comey said he will miss the FBI and its mission
James Comey said he will miss the FBI and its mission "deeply" (AP)
US President Donald Trump (L) fired FBI Director James Comey
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former colleagues of sacked FBI Director James Comey are reportedly posting images of him on their Facebook profile in a gesture normally reserved for slain colleagues.

President Donald Trump's decision to fire Mr Comey has reportedly sent morale plunging at an agency already enduring one of its most tumultuous periods in history.

Andrew McCabe, who was the FBI’s deputy director, has now become its acting head after Donald Trump ousted Mr Comey earlier this week.

Not everyone inside the FBI was a supporter of Mr Comey. But several reports said the way he was treated had left many feeling angry and frustrated. According to the Daily Beast at least a dozen agents posted images on their private Facebook pages of themselves with Mr Comey, or else of Mr Comey alone.

According to the website the gesture is usually reserved for a colleague who dies in the line of duty,

“The real impact will be the distrust of the agency under the leadership of the new director,” one agent told the website.

“No matter who gets the job, there will be a cloud of suspicion because the President is unpopular with much of the population. That bad faith will make it harder to do my job.”

Mr Comey wrote to colleagues after the decision to say he does not plan to dwell on Donald Trump's decision to fire him or on "the way it was executed".

He said in the letter that although he will be fine, he will miss the FBI and its mission "deeply".

Mr Comey said that "in times of turbulence, the American people should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty, and independence".

The New York Times said that another senior FBI official said the president had damaged his standing among agents, many of whom were conservative and supported Mr Trump as a candidate.

They also denied a claim made by White House spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who told reporters the FBI’s rank-and-file supported the sudden firing of their director.

One former senior FBI official, Frank Montoya Jr, said: “People are stunned right now.”

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