US President Donald Trump supports the FBI “100%”, he told law enforcement leaders during a graduation ceremony at the agency’s Virginia headquarters.
His visit comes only days after he referred to the agency as “in tatters” and “the worst in history”.
During his remarks, Mr Trump heaped praise on the FBI, which critics say has grown more politicised since the 2016 election.
Earlier he vowed to “rebuild the FBI… bigger and better than ever”.
“The president of the United States has your back 100 percent,” he said on Friday at the FBI’s National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
“By the way, you are great people,” he added.
“I’d say like 90% are great, right? The other 10%, that’s not working out so well,” he added.
Earlier this month, Mr Trump lambasted the agency and its former director, James Comey, whom he fired in May.
In his remarks, Mr Trump also called for the death penalty for anyone that murders a police officer, and for Congress to reform the immigration process, which he blamed for recent terror attacks in New York City.
“With me as your president, America’s police will have a true friend and loyal champion in the White House – more loyal than anyone else can be,” he vowed.
He also promised to deport immigrants suspected of crimes, saying. “The jail stuff is wonderful but we have to pay for it.”
“We don’t want them. They’re getting out of here.”
Trump criticised for FBI attacks
On his way to Quantico on Friday morning, Mr Trump struck a different tone, telling reporters that “its a shame what’s happened with the FBI”.
He appeared to refer to recent reports that FBI agents had privately exchanged text messages during the 2016 election, which included disparaging remarks about then-candidate Mr Trump.
Republicans: FBI Trump texts show bias
Republicans have claimed that the text exchange proves an anti-Trump bias in the special investigation being led by former FBI director Robert Mueller, who is examining possible campaign collusion with Russia and meddling in the US election process.
Mr Trump denies that his team colluded with Russia to get him elected.
“But when everybody – not me – when everybody – the level of anger at what they’ve been witnessing with respect to the FBI is certainly very sad”, said Mr Trump on the White House lawn.
“When you look at what’s gone on with the FBI and with the Justice Department, people are very, very angry,” he added.