Law enforcement veterans fear President Donald Trump's frequent attacks on them are putting investigators in physical danger.
The president regularly attacks the FBI and other investigators at his campaign rallies -- where he calls them "human scum" -- and on his Twitter feed, where he regularly accuses them of treason, reported the Washington Post.
Those crude attacks have consequences, said one former FBI agent.
“I thought this was a totally unexpected body blow he threw at the bureau," said Jane Turner, who worked as an FBI agent for 25 years, "just for that coarseness of the language and the emotion behind it."
The 68-year-old Turner said the president's attacks were unprecedented, and she said they do "terrible harm" for agents in the field.
"(If someone) believes that we’re out to get the president or out to overthrow the government," she said, "we’re in deep trouble.”
Trump feeds conspiracy theories to his followers, who are primed to believe outlandish tales about his enemies, but Turner insisted FBI agents were "trying to do the best for this country. They’ve got to believe that.”
"(A presidential coup is) exactly the opposite of what the FBI does," Turner said. "It’s absolutely phenomenal how he does this, pulls this crap.”