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13 Apr, 2017 17:39

FBI hopes TV series will make Americans ‘believe’ in agency again

FBI hopes TV series will make Americans ‘believe’ in agency again

FBI Director James Comey said he allowed a film crew into the agency’s New York offices for a new TV series, in the hope it might rebuild trust with the American people.

The FBI chief said he believed that Americans were “confused” about the bureau’s actions over the past year, particularly around the 2016 election.

“We did a lot last year that confused people, because they’re seeing the world…through sides,” Comey told reporters in Washington, DC, according to ABC News.
“We don’t see the world that way. We are not on anybody’s side. We really don’t care. We’re trying to figure out what’s true, what’s fair, that’s the right thing to do.”

The series, ‘Inside the FBI: New York,’ takes an in-depth look at the agency’s operations in New York City, where the film crew spent a year between September 2015 and September 2016, filming the day-to-day activities of field agents and the bureau’s response to a number of terrorist attacks and national crises.

During the election year, Comey came under fire over the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information via a private email server.

The FBI chief concluded in July that Clinton was "extremely careless" with State Department emails but did not recommend charges.

Then, 11 days before the election, Comey announced the investigation had been reopened, which some Democrats believe played a big role in Clinton’s stunning loss to Donald Trump.

Comey has also faced criticism from Republicans for the FBI's investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

"I worry sometimes that people don't know us," said Comey. "We have to care what the people think of us because the faith and confidence of the American people is the bedrock that allows us to be believed, and by being believed, to accomplish the good that they try to do in this country."

Among its many investigations, the FBI has opened a probe into WikiLeaks’ publication of confidential documents on the CIA, revealing the agency’s hacking abilities known as ‘Vault 7.’

The documents revealed the agency’s “global covert hacking program,” including “weaponized exploits” used against company products including “Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”

The first episode of the FBI series will be shown on April 27, on USA Network.

The show's release coincides with the filming of a six-part television series, ‘Waco’, covering the deadly standoff more than two decades ago between government agents and the Branch Davidians spiritual sect in New Mexico. The show is scheduled to air in 2018.

The 51-day standoff ended in a shootout in which four federal agents were killed, along with 70 people inside the sect’s compound in Central Texas, according to AP.

Millions of Americans watched television coverage of the standoff. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives showed up at the compound in late February 1993, trying to serve a search warrant for illegal stockpiles of weapons and explosives. They were greeted with gunfire. In the weeks that followed federal authorities were worried about the children in the compound being abused. Sect leader David Koresh was known to have multiple wives.

The siege ended April 19. After an FBI negotiator asked over a loud speaker for Koresh to lead his people out, military vehicles began ramming the buildings and spraying tear gas. A few hours later, flames were seen spreading through the compound. Only nine people escaped.