In the spring of 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was on the cusp of a dramatic overhaul of the agency’s cyber capabilities. The FBI was wrapping up an agency-wide survey, and one option on the table included getting rid of the bureau’s central cyber division altogether and dispersing digital experts throughout its 56 regional offices.
But just days before FBI officials were scheduled to brief the director on the results of the survey, according to a bureau official working there at the time, President Trump fired James Comey, the bureau’s head.
Comey, who says he was fired after refusing to pledge loyalty to the president, recalled that episode at a recent conference in Washington. “I failed to push us to the decision point of how do we want to deploy against this threat aggressively enough,” he said. “Should we have a cyber division or blow it up?”