FBI employees’ support for their leadership has decreased, survey shows

FBI employees’ attitudes about the agency’s leadership have worsened over the past year, according to the FBI’s most recent “climate survey.”

The survey, obtained by the national security blog Lawfare through a FOIA lawsuit, reveals that employees do not necessarily agree with FBI Director Christopher Wray’s “vision.”

In a question that asks if employees are supportive of the vision and ideas of the director, there was a visible decline in those who agreed compared to past years’ responses, a graph of the averages put together by Lawfare showed.

Wray took over as head of the FBI after President Donald Trump fired ex-Director James Comey in May of last year. Since Trump’s election, the FBI has faced repeated attacks and heavy scrutiny from the President himself as well as other lawmakers.

Just last week, embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok testified before the House in a raucous, nearly 10-hour hearing in which he defended his actions in the Hillary Clinton email and Russia investigations amid sharp attacks over anti-Trump text messages he sent.

Later, Trump called his testimony “an absolute disgrace.”

“I thought (Strzok’s testimony) was an absolute disgrace. Where he wants to do things against me before I was even, I guess before I was even the candidate. It was a disgrace,” Trump said during an interview with CBS News at his resort in Turnberry, Scotland.

Wray has spoken out in defense of the FBI, like during his May testimony with the House Intelligence Committee, but he has also declined to directly address Trump’s criticism of the bureau.

According to Lawfare, the survey was done during February and March.

Some questions also noted by Lawfare included asking employees about their level of respect for FBI senior executives and whether FBI senior executives have a high level of honesty and integrity. Both of those questions also showed a dip in positive responses.