President Donald Trump has reportedly canceled a proposed trip to FBI headquarters after being informed that he would not receive a warm welcome.
Unidentified Trump administration officials told NBC News that the fallout from Trump firing FBI Director James Comey on May 9 soured the idea on May 11.
The FBI reportedly told the White House that there would not be much cheering or smiles for Trump, creating a bad image (optics) in the media.
While many FBI agents voted for Trump, his firing of a very popular director reportedly did not sit well.
"My sense is most FBI employees feel a loyalty to Comey," a FBI employee told NBC News. "And whether they agree or disagree with the way he handled the email case, like and respect him ... Trump would not be well-received at headquarters."
Senior White House officials later told NBC News that Trump was only "weighing" a visit to FBI headquarters, and that the details were still being put together when the notion was axed on May 11.
In addition to firing Comey, Trump trashed him during an interview with NBC Nightly News host Lester Holt on May 11, stating: "He’s a showboat, he's a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that. I know that. Everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil."
However, Trump praised the FBI on Oct. 28, which was when Comey announced that the FBI was looking into more e-mails linked to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, NBC News notes.
"The FBI -- after discovering new emails, is re-opening their investigation into Hillary Clinton," Trump said. "I have great respect for the FBI for righting this wrong."
Trump directly praised Comey on Oct. 31:
You know that. It took a lot of guts. I really disagreed with him. I was not his fan. I tell you what, what he did, he brought back his reputation. He brought it back. He's got to hang tough. A lot of people want him to do the wrong thing. What he did was the right thing.
During an interview with "60 Minutes" on Nov. 31, Trump said of Comey: "I respect him a lot. I respect the FBI a lot."
On Jan. 22, Trump said of Comey: "He's become more famous than me."
Trump started to sour on the FBI on Feb. 24 on Twitter.
"The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security 'leakers' that have permeated our government for a long time," Trump tweeted. "They can't even find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW."