Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein tore into President Trump on Tuesday over the latter’s attacks on the FBI, saying it’s Trump’s presidency whose integrity has been compromised, not the law enforcement agency’s.
In an interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto, the legendary Watergate reporter accused Trump of acting contemptuously toward the FBI and other “instruments” of American democracy. “The key word… that he keeps using is ‘tainted.’ There’s really only one institution that has really been tainted through these months and that is the Trump presidency,” Bernstein said. “It’s tainted by the president’s lies, by his disrespect for American institutions operating under the law with traditional American democracy and the instruments thereof.” “He’s contemptuous of those instruments,” Bernstein added. Bernstein accused the president of doing a “grave disservice” to the country by undermining institutions such as the FBI. Trump, Bernstein said, should welcome moves from Mueller’s team if he really believes he will be exonerated in the end. “If the president is as confident as he says, if this investigation is going to end very soon with him being exonerated, he ought to welcome all of this instead of attacking constantly,” Bernstein said. “He’s doing a grave disservice to our democracy.” Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning that the FBI was “tainted.” His comment came after he sharply criticized Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Saturday over reports that McCabe will possibly retire in March. “How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” the president tweeted. “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!” Trump added another tweet. McCabe has been the target of Republican criticism over a campaign donation his wife received from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), a top ally of Hillary Clinton, just a year before the investigation he managed into her private email server cleared Clinton of wrongdoing.