Latest: Trump slams FBI chiefs while claiming he is 'more loyal than anyone' to police

Update 5.40pm: President Donald Trump has attacked the FBI leadership while proclaiming loyalty and support for law enforcement in an address at the agency's training academy.

"It's a shame what's happened" with the FBI, the president said as he left the White House for Quantico, Virginia.

He called the agency's handling of Hillary Clinton's email investigation "really disgraceful" and said "we're going to rebuild the FBI".

Shortly afterwards, Mr Trump lavished praise on graduates of an FBI National Academy programme and their families, touting their accomplishments and pledging his unwavering support.

He told law enforcement leaders he is "more loyal than anyone else could be" to police.

"Anti-police sentiment is wrong and it's dangerous," he added. "Anyone who kills a police officer should get the death penalty."

Mr Trump used the speech to promote his administration's tough-on-crime policies, delivering a stern warning to members of the international gang MS-13 that his administration will root them out and arrest them.

He also celebrated his decision to make it easier for local police forces to purchase surplus military equipment and questioned rising violence in Chicago.

"What the hell is going on in Chicago? What the hell is happening there?" he asked.

Donald Trump and former FBI director James Comey

Update 2.45pm: Newly revealed FBI records show there is "extreme bias" against President Donald Trump among senior leadership at the FBI, the White House said.

The accusation came hours before Mr Trump was to speak at the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia.

The president, who has described the agency as "in tatters", is to speak at a ceremony at the FBI campus for law enforcement leaders graduating from a programme aimed at raising standards.

Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox News Channel that edits to former FBI director James Comey’s statement on Hillary Clinton’s private email server and text messages from a top agent critical of Trump are "deeply troubling."

"There is extreme bias against this president with high-up members of the team there at the FBI who were investigating Hillary Clinton at the time," he said.

It comes as special counsel Robert Mueller pushes on with a probe of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia.

Mr Gidley said Mr Trump maintains confidence in the FBI’s rank-and-file.

Edits to the Comey draft appeared to soften the gravity of the bureau’s finding in its 2016 investigation of Mrs Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Mr Gidley said the disclosure of politically charged text messages sent by one of the agents on the Clinton case, Peter Strzok, were "eye-opening".

Mr Strzok, who was in the room as Mrs Clinton was interviewed, was later assigned to Mr Mueller’s team to investigate potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.

He was re-assigned after the messages were uncovered this summer.

About 200 leaders in law enforcement from around the country attended the FBI National Academy programme aimed at raising law enforcement standards and cooperation.

Coursework included intelligence theory, terrorism and terrorist mindsets, law, behavioural science, law enforcement communication and forensic science.

AP


 

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