He ain’t gonna feel bad about people working there having issues…
Nearly 5,000 FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, attorneys, and professional staff have been furloughed.
They’ve weathered blistering attacks from the president, the exposure of sensitive sources, and the politicization of classified information. And now they’re not getting paid. “I’m not going to try to candy-coat it,” Tom O’Connor, a special agent and president of the FBI Agents Association, told me this week. “We really feel that the financial insecurities we are facing right now equate to a national-security issue.”
On Saturday, the current government shutdown will be the longest in U.S. history—and it could remain shuttered for “months or even years,” President Donald Trump warned Democrats last week. While much of the drama has centered around Trump’s demand for a wall on the southern border, thousands of FBI agents and other federal employees whose unfettered work is crucial to national security have either been furloughed or forced to work with no pay and steep budget cuts.
Morale at the FBI had already been steadily declining for months before the government shut down on December 22, according to current and recently departed agents who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity to discuss their feelings candidly. President Trump’s open warfare on the bureau has made agents’ jobs more difficult, they say, as trust in the FBI wanes among people who identify as Republicans and right-leaning independents. “Part of it is Trump’s constant attacks,” said one agent who left late last year. “Bigger than that, though, is that it seems like a portion of the population believes him. Which makes their jobs harder to do.”
Another agent who left the bureau last year told me that certain leads that might be politically controversial were sometimes tabled indefinitely because they were not seen as worth incurring the wrath of the Trump White House….