For years now we’ve been hearing how President Trump’s “attacks” on the media have had a chilling effect on free speech. Trump gets a “fake news” chant going at one of his rallies and poor Jim Acosta becomes worried for his personal safety.

You may remember that the White House Correspondents Association was wringing its hands over whether to invite Trump to its “nerd prom” (he didn’t attend) and now we’ve been reminded that the White House’s annual Christmas party for the media isn’t even a thing anymore. It’s just … gone.

Now the media have compatriots in the form of FBI agents who warn of a chilling effect inside the agency now that they’re under attack by the president and Attorney General William Barr.

And we’ll bet much like the media, those FBI agents have no idea why the public seems to have lost trust in the agency. CNN reports:

Current and former FBI officials tell CNN they’re concerned that the harsh rhetoric coming from Trump and Barr has only worsened the bureau’s already tenuous standing with the President, leaving them wondering whether federal agents could be less aggressive the next time they have to pursue a sensitive investigation.

Barr this week seized on findings in a blockbuster inspector general report to scold the FBI for using “intrusive” tools with only “flimsy” evidence, and he questioned whether they’d been motivated by bias. Those attacks were particularly noteworthy given that the report found no evidence of bias or improper motivation in the FBI’s decisions to use counterintelligence techniques. The report did however point out serious mistakes and mishandling of evidence by the FBI.

Wrong. The report found no “documentary” evidence of political bias, but we’ve all seen the texts between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok — who was removed from the Mueller investigation due to his obvious animosity toward the president. And even CNN is forced to point out the “serious mistakes and mishandling of evidence” contained in the Horowitz report.

Thoughts and prayers to all the FBI agents who are feeling chilled by President Trump’s “attacks.”


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