President Donald Trump had planned to make a visit to the headquarters of the FBI, but those plans were changed after the White House was told he would not be greeted warmly if he showed up.
You know how nervy your president is. Even after firing FBI Director James Comey Tuesday, Trump thought it would be a good idea to go to the J. Edgar Hoover Building in downtown Washington, D.C., and NBC News reports that the idea had been floated around as recently as Thursday morning.
A reporter asked Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders if a Trump visit to FBI headquarters was imminent, and she replied, “I believe it’s very likely that takes place sometime in the next few days.”
Administration officials said that idea was dropped later Thursday after the FBI told the White House “the optics would not be good,” according to NBC. Apparently, no one at the FBI was ready to make fake smiles and cheers for a photo op with the man who had just “unceremoniously sacked a very popular director.”
“My sense is most FBI employees feel a loyalty to Comey,” one person who works at headquarters told 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.”
Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday, “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.”
Senior White House officials, however, told NBC that while Trump was “weighing” a visit to the FBI building, the details were still being worked out in the morning. By Thursday afternoon, the plan had been completely nixed.
Comey’s dismissal Tuesday came as a shock to everyone, but in a letter to FBI employees, he said he wouldn’t spend time thinking about why and how he got fired, and he told his former colleagues to do the same thing.
“I have said to you before that, in times of turbulence, the American people should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty and independence,” Comey wrote in his farewell letter. “What makes leaving the FBI hard is the nature and quality of its people, who together make it that rock for America.”
Read more at NBC News.