Former President Donald Trump intensified his bashing of the FBI on social media over the weekend with his own comments and those of QAnon followers calling the bureau a “criminal enterprise,” “corrupt,” seditious and abusive.
Trump, in likely the ugliest public attack on federal law enforcers by any president or former president in American history, launched a fresh tirade on his Truth Social platform late Saturday into Sunday to blast the FBI’s search last week of his Mar-a-Lago resort to collect boxes of White House documents that should have been surrendered to the National Archives when he left office.
Trump insisted that the FBI has a “long and unrelenting history of being corrupt.” He also called the search a “sneak attack on democracy,” and referred in a post to “great simmering anger” over the action, which he characterized as a “break in.”
Trump also reposted messages from others that included references to QAnon conspiracy theories.
One message reposted by Trump last week was written by user “We The Pepe,” referring to the white supremacist icon Pepe the frog, which has been branded a racist, anti-Semitic hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League.
Another user Trump reported was “WWG1WGA,” an abbreviation for “where we go one, we go all,” a well known QAnon slogan.
The attacks were part of Trump’s long series of increasingly vitriolic swipes at the FBI in the wake of the search.
FBI agents last week collected around 20 boxes of items from Mar-a-Lago, including 11 sets of classified information, some of it top secret. Some of the material reportedly pertained to nuclear weapons.
The former president is now being probed for possible violation of the Espionage Act, obstruction of an investigation, and removing or destroying records, according to the FBI search warrant.
For the first time Sunday, Trump admitted that the FBI search was captured on surveillance cameras. Earlier, he insisted there were no witnesses and baselessly accused FBI agents of planting evidence. Trump and family members watched it, his lawyer said.
But Trump continued to insist it was impossible to determine that nothing was “planted.”
Last week, Trump derided the FBI as “sleazy” on Truth Social, and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) urged Americans to “destroy the FBI.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) appeared to be calling for civil war over the search.
Federal authorities are now warning of a spike in threats to law enforcement. A joint intelligence bulletin released by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security advises federal officials to remain vigilant and stay informed about domestic violent extremists.
The FBI Agents Association, which represents 14,000 current and past special agents, issued an angry statement saying that “calls for violence against law enforcement are unacceptable, and should be condemned by all leaders.”
Gunman Ricky Shiffer, armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, was killed by police last week after he attempted to breach a Cincinnati FBI office amid the vicious social media attacks by Republican lawmakers and their supporters.
Larry Cosme, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, expressed alarm in an interview with The Washington Post over GOP warnings to Americans that federal agents are “coming for you.”
The “rank-and-file officers on the street and agents, they are career employees that … cherish the Constitution like the average American,” Cosme said. “For them to be attacked ... is shameful and disgusting.”