The White House reportedly pushed back against cries by some congressional Republicans to “defund” the FBI in response to the agency’s search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort last week, CNN reported.
“Just like President Biden rejects defunding the police, he rejects defunding other law enforcement, including the FBI,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told CNN in a statement on Wednesday.
Bates added that the President has demanded increases for police funding and urged the hiring of 100,000 additional officers.
“He also included over $10.8 billion for the FBI in his most recent budget,” Bates said, according to CNN. “The men and women who bravely serve in law enforcement to keep all of us safe deserve the resources and support that they need to do their jobs – not seeing their budgets slashed.”
Biden’s reported condemnation of congressional Republicans’ attacks on the FBI come the same day former Vice President Mike Pence called on Republicans to stop waging war with the agency in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid during a political event in New Hampshire on Wednesday. Instead, Pence urged Republicans to take aim at Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“I also want to remind my fellow Republicans, we can hold the attorney general accountable for the decision he made without attacking the rank-and-file law enforcement personnel at the FBI,” Pence said.
In the past week, some congressional Republicans have cried tyranny, revenge and civil war after FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago for classified White House records that Trump failed to turn over to the National Archives upon leaving office. Some Republicans urged the defunding of the FBI. Attacks waged by congressional Republicans against the FBI appear to be part of a broader GOP effort to cast the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago as a way for the Biden administration to weaponize law enforcement to target his predecessor.
Federal law enforcement has faced an uptick in attacks and threats of violence following the Mar-a-Lago raid last week, which include a gunman’s alleged attempt to break into the FBI’s field office in Cincinnati. The suspect died after an hours-long standoff with law enforcement. The FBI and DHS also issued a joint bulletin last week warning of “violent threats” against federal law enforcement, courts and government personnel and facilities in the aftermath of the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago.
Additionally, a Pennsylvania man was arrested and charged on Monday for targeting FBI agents in graphic and violent threats posted online.