Speed Reads

Playing politics

FBI urged to 'keep calm' amid unfamiliar controversy and alliances

FBI Director Christopher Wray filmed a video message urging agents to "keep calm and tackle hard" amid the political controversy engulfing his agency following the release of the Nunes memo Friday, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

"You've all been through a lot in these past nine months, and I know that's been unsettling, to say the least. And the past few days haven't done much to calm those waters," Wray said. "So I want to make sure that you know where I stand, and what I want us to do." Since Wray's message was distributed, President Trump shared excerpts of a Wall Street Journal editorial citing the memo to denounce the FBI for becoming "a tool of anti-Trump political actors."

The FBI has long been accused of institutional misconduct, including constitutional violations, but it is unusual for the allegations to come from the right. Trump's embrace of the memo's charges, on which the FBI has attempted to cast doubt, has created new political fault lines in Washington. The agency is finding unusual bedfellows in the Democratic Party, while Trump has publicly criticized his own appointees in the Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI.