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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference to discuss "efforts to reduce violent crime" at the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC1E6A5AE6B0

Sessions distances himself from Trump’s criticism of the FBI

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is distancing himself from President Donald Trump’s criticism of the FBI. Sessions says he does not share the view that the FBI “is not functioning at a high level all over the country.”

Sessions, speaking Friday at a news conference about the Justice Department’s crime-fighting efforts, said the FBI is “fulfilling a fabulously important role working to fight against violent crime.” But he stopped short of saying whether he agrees with Trump that the reputation of the agency is “in tatters.”

READ MORE: Trump says FBI handling of Clinton probe was ‘really disgraceful’

Trump again blasted FBI leadership Friday even as he praised state and local officers.

Sessions says it’s noteworthy that Trump expressed support for law enforcement in a speech at the FBI’s National Academy. The program is for law enforcement leaders from around the country, not FBI agents.

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