Donald Trump speaks at a fundraiser in New York on Saturday, before taking aim at the FBI the next day.
Donald Trump speaks at a fundraiser in New York on Saturday, before taking aim at the FBI the next day. Susan Walsh

Trump trashes FBI over Flynn

DONALD Trump has lashed out at his critics - and said the FBI's reputation is in tatters - days after a top aide of his pleaded guilty to charges resulting from a special investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday morning local time to try to reframe the national conversation away from analysis of what the guilty plea of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn might mean, and towards a familiar foil of the US President: Hillary Clinton and the Washington bureaucracy he frequently dismisses as corrupt.

"After years of (former FBI Director James) Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness,” Mr Trump wrote in one of several tweets attacking the intelligence agency.

The President appeared to be seizing on a report that a member of special counsel Robert Mueller's team was fired after it was discovered that he had sent anti-Trump tweets.

That investigator reportedly also worked on the investigation into Mrs Clinton's use of a private email server, which ultimately found no criminal wrongdoing on the Democrat's part.

Mr Mueller immediately removed the investigator from his team following the allegations, which were not detailed publicly. That swift action was seen as an effort by the former FBI director to insulate his team against claims of bias or favouritism.

The President devoted one of his tweets to the subject of ABC investigative journalist Brian Ross, who was suspended following his false reporting that Mr Trump had, as a candidate for president, instructed Mr Flynn to contact Russian officials.

Mr Flynn was actually instructed to make contact with the Russian government after Mr Trump had won the election, and it appears that a high level official gave the order - not Mr Trump.