Trump praises law enforcement at FBI National Academy after criticizing bureau

President Trump spoke alongside FBI Director Christopher Wray, who recently defended the bureau from Trump's criticism.
13:19 | 12/15/17

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Transcript for Trump praises law enforcement at FBI National Academy after criticizing bureau
For different things you president from speak at the FBI national academy. Graduation ceremony good morning everyone I'm Maggie rule in. I want to bring in Mary Alice parks and Mike Levine to help me break down. What we just listen to cause got this was not an average normal everyday speech from the president's there was so many eyes watching the speech because of what's been going on. Between the FBI and the president the past few months. As recently as this morning the president saying he's angry with the FBI just last week saying it was in tatters calling it the worst in history. So much tension between these two right now. Mary also want Latino for some curious what you thought about his comments at. Rod president trump seemed almost be calm look there he was joking with law enforcement officials he made the group laughed he praised them. A profusely but you it was just about an hour hour and a half ago that he was calling out the FBI saying he was angry with them wouldn't make of the comments that he just made at the FBI. It's hard to know what to make it bend your right seemed like a total 180 almost. Whiplash you had the president there on the South Lawn departing saying that it was a shame what was happening at the FBI. Like you brought up his Twitter account over the last few days calling the FBI's reputation in shambles really hitting at law enforcement integrity. And yet. Today during that speech in front of the podium in the formal setting he made a point of specifically talking about law enforcement integrity. And caricature he said that no one would. Would respect and honor and appreciate law enforcement more. Then hand so I think that it's possible many in the room unsure about what to make of those comments it seems like we are often getting. Just two different sides of this president almost a split personality when it comes to his conversations and his relationship. Would want force meant. Well since we did just hear him at joking in praising. And people in that room like you mentioned let's take a listen to president trump and again just about an hour before he praised law enforcement officials this is what he had to say the FBI as he left the White House. While it's a shame what's happened with the FBI but. The FBI and will be bigger and better than ever but it is very sad when you look at those documents and how they've got that is really really disgraceful you have a lot of very angry people that is saying it. It's a very sad thing to watch that we'll tell you that and I'm going day on behalf of the FBI. There's new Belgrade and you know but what I what everybody got me what everybody at the level of Baghdad. What they've been what did they were expected the FBI is actually very bad. The night maybe you can help us shed some light on this what was this ceremony today what was happening why was the president there. Yes well while he was speaking today act the FBI he was not speaking today to the FBI everyone in that audience was probably some 200 people. Our graduates of a program. That trains are sort of gives additional courses taught local state and even international police around the world so these were not FBI agents that he was talking to they were police. State local international please who work the streets. Sitting next to it knows quite adjusting sitting right next to mop on that stage was the attorney general someone he has personally attacked over the past few months. Now of course next to him with the FBI director are only a week ago felt compelled before congress to defend his agents and talk about how they're good people decent people with. Integrity. Like you make a good pointing I was ready for things just are getting congregate up president child custody reign as the director of the FBI they have clashed very vocal and very publicly. Celestica listen to the FBI director as you mentioned this was him defending the men and women that worked for him in light of the president trump said. When I can tell you is that the FBI that I see. Is tens of thousands. Of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off. To keep Americans safe from the next terrorist attack. Gang violence child predators spies from Russia China North Korea and Iran. The FBI that I see. Is tens of thousands of brave men and women who are working as hard as they can to keep people that they will never know safe from harm do we are determined. To be the very best at protecting the American people and upholding the rule law and I for one could not be more proud. To be part. And my guesses not that long ago and it's been happening now for months these tensions between the president and the FBI again both men. A very public about how they feel towards one another so flash forward then to today what we just witnessed where. A book then we're very cordial they they praised each of the the FBI director said he was happy to have the president there the president seemed to be almost jovial up on stage some curious so this. All is shown do you think was this just to put on a good face. Do you think there are more attention and they really let on. Wheeler again he refused speaking to a different audience but he did it the anti. Saying to the FBI was very clear about that he said you know a lot of might think the FBI for having me here is clearly a compliment after everything that's gone on. But these tensions are real people inside the FBI that talk to just. They can't imagine they don't remember a time like this where they were under such pressure they've had problems in the past they've had controversies. 9/11 of course they got criticized for not realizing what was happening there were recently there is the issue of them having missing signs before the Orlando with terrorism attack. But so they've been under intense pressure before but nothing like there's nothing like the president speaking out against the F. Yet. Mary out I want check back in a few B and I'm curious. Again and as Mike mentioned the president was speaking to a different group is seeking to law enforcement officials are not necessarily. FBI agents in general but again the FBI director was up with him on stage. Do you think the president and away was. Trying to make any men and then theory to extend an olive branch of the FBI who resists really just his chance to talk to law enforcement officials and it happened. That the FBI director was there as well. You're at but it was really interesting to see all of those men on stage together or constantly talking about. Their relationship behind the scenes talking about is public statements and how they might be referring to each other. So to watch them all sit side by side was really fascinating. But what I was an olive branch don't know that's hard to imagine since. Like we said just an hour before the president was talking to reporters had a chance to really sort of set the tone for the day. And instead he he took another shot the FBI he knew he was gonna go as their gas. He knew that he was going to go talk in front of them sit next to the director of the FBI and he made a point when he was leaving boss there at still there at the White House. I'd say it soon to really. Add backs them once again. And and really sort of call into question. Their work so it it while members of very out informal look today's events and while it definitely seemed like he wanted to champion local law enforcement. I think that we are a long way away from this president trying to make active amends with FBI agents and with the with B or an institution as a whole. Making good why would it what would have banned have been a fly on the wall in that room with all of those men up on stage especially in light of everything that's been going on over the past few months napping in addition. To make in his remarks of the FBI he also brought up. Comes first and other hot talking points that he stuck to throughout his speech. May have some curious what you think about him bringing up things like immigration violent crime assaults against law enforcement officials. And even fighting against the cartels then why bring this up now what you think he was trying to do by reinforcing some of his main talking points. Yeah this is pretty. Classic president trump we often talk about to present trump. From the campaign trail I think that a change ever general Jeff Sessions sent it right that this is a candidate's right there really ran. On Mon fourth minute message out but it's interesting that that a year into his presidency he still feels India finds it important to talk. And Kate a rather grim dark picture of the country a lot of ways mean saying that. That they antley shouldn't have to live with bullets flying through windows and and they shouldn't constantly be fearful. Surely we have communities that are still struggling under gang violence but it is interesting to watch this president so quick. To Latin to paint a very negative picture of this country Hamels a frightening. Pitcher of this country I was surprised that he didn't in some ways want to lift up the successes of local law enforcement in some way he areas. Sitting in front of all of these members of law enforcement and he felt like it was important to talk about. Essentially all the work that still needs to be done I'm or and really out and Jim Mattis size a lot of the work that he sees at needs to be done. Took very little time to perhaps talk about successes. Of local law enforcement. The so it was really interesting I think you're exactly right injures in that he feels. That is still so important to hit on these rather around. Dark topics in this country. Mike and Karen. Split do you think as well the president's speech especially in light of how perhaps law enforcement but also FBI agents are reacting to the president right now. They must be a difficult to say the least are awkward had to say the least to have the president in the same room of the FBI director after these remarks but also. For FBI agents out do you think anything that he said or did today with his local law enforcement officials how will help smooth things over. How though both the president and the FBI and move forward from here in light of all these tensions. -- first of all don't forget there is a large portion of law enforcement officers especially in the FBI who are actually very pro trough. So his attacks on the FBI there are people within the FBI that feel like hey yes I've not been allowed to do my job. For the past several years there FBI agents who feel like Hillary Clinton was let off the hook by James coming and and here is his folks last year so. In some ways he doesn't need to smooth smooth not smooth over attentions but now meet a need to build bridges with them he does need to build bridges though with the people who are in control. And they certainly feel like they're being attacked and that their forces are being attacked. Two I think that they can work things out certainly I think the FBI the current FBI director is trying to actually take the mold of Robert Mueller of all people. We didn't try to engage with the need you're that much. Who tried just keep his head down into the job and was very sort of straightforward when he was in public and testifying before congress I think that could go a long way to easing these tensions. Well another name that president comes had to answer to today in this past couple months have been Michael Flynn and then again just a for this feature news making those comments reporters asked him about Michael Clint. Yet interesting response let's take a listen. When you consider Martin Michael bland title what are Doug about pardons of Michael flavor yet we'll see what happens let's say I can say this. When you look at what's gone on with the FBI had with the Justice Department. People are very very angry thank you very much everybody back. Mary house my first question for you is how do we interpret this as a parting coming as a part in not coming this president Tran had any idea of apartments coming or not what do you think. I think Kia it definitely didn't. Didn't did not go there and it adding that the have clips. So interesting a look at will be watching as he didn't dismiss the idea outright he didn't say that there was no way he would consider it. He at basically the same answer that White House spokesman loving giving over the last few days and weeks saying that he needs to see where the investigation went. Before they'd be dripping he's a conversation like that but the fact of the president basically said he would still consider it our at least didn't say he was not not considering it. I think it's gonna be really interesting is dabbling in a make headlines in the days to come it would be. A huge deal out an unbelievable I have my neck and Bailey found those are the bombs how. That it would be if the president were to part in his former national security advisor. Rouse mention it's a bombshells on Mike and carries it just even. Something that's possible and if he did hearted Michael Flynn what would that look like within the FBI had you think they would respond. You know just in terms of the part I actually had two thoughts when I saw the president says that. First of all you have to remember that mrs. Michael Flynn is a man who has just agreed to cooperate. With the Robert Mueller has investigations all this so. There is a benefit to the president telegraphing. Hey I might let you off the hook here. Second of all. Michael Flynn is facing at that pop up possible zero time in prison here so I'm sure the president wants to wait to see what happens with that. Before he actually makes a decision or even telegraphed their true decision. On this because it quite a flat stock in the face any prison time I don't see what benefit politically the president has pardoning him. Might think he's so much summit of the talking about this for a while quite some time to come Mary Alice thank you as well below the view. Thanks for joining us here to break down today's speech again it wasn't just president speaking to law enforcement officials as a president speaking to law enforcement officials in the middle. Of these tensions between the president the United States in the FBI that are only. Appearing to grow more and more intense. Make sure you stay right here on ABC news digital of life sums up throughout the day and we'll be checking back in the theology is anything else develops in this story is well different.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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