President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi all had harsh words for the FBI in the wake of last week’s Parkland shooting and the revelations that the Bureau had failed to follow up on some very specific and chilling leads.
“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”
Trump’s comments came after the country learned that there were many warning signs about Cruz that could have been (and were) brought to the FBI’s attention. A YouTube user notified the Bureau in September that another user with the not-so-cryptic username of “Nikolas Cruz” had written, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” After telling the public for a couple of days that they had failed to identify the author – an absurd notion seeing as how he used his real name – the FBI finally admitted Friday that they simply didn’t bother to follow up on the tip.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Sen. Marco Rubio have both made official remarks about the failure of the FBI to follow up on this tip as well as the killer’s other disturbing social media posts, and many have made the point that if the Bureau wasn’t so busy investigating the absurd Russia/Trump story, they might be more focused on things that can actually keep dangerous people from going into high schools with AR-15s a-blazing.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has said that an apology from the FBI “isn’t going to cut it.” He called the FBI’s abandonment of protocol “inexcusable” and said that Director Christopher Wray should resign as a result of what happened.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, on a Fox News telecast last week, echoed the governor’s irritation with the FBI’s incompetence. “I think he has a lot of explaining to do,” she said of Wray. “You know, the men and women of the FBI report to him, and we need to find out exactly what happened that could have saved 17 lives and many, many injuries, and thousands of kids who will be traumatized for the rest of their lives.”
At the end of the day, the shooter and the shooter alone is responsible for what happened on Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Florida. But if there are systemic problems and distractions within the FBI that are keeping law enforcement from doing their duty, that should be one of our main focuses going forward. God knows, this isn’t the first sign we’ve had that something may be amiss in the FBI.