U.S. Secret Service Director James Murray is at the center of controversy as concerns mount about his close ties to former President Donald Trump amid the House Select Committee's ongoing investigation into the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.
According to Newsweek, the speculation centers around missing text messages that were sent and received on January 5 and 6, 2021. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell recently shared critical remarks about Murray describing him as "the problem" within the government agency.
The MSNBC host also insisted that the agency has the most important text messages in their history because no one there knew that those text messages were important" and accused the Secret Service official of being "a Trump guy."
O'Donnell also shared details from a NBC News report that detailed the specific orders Secret Service agents were given to preserve text messages. "The senior Secret Service official said it was James Murray's responsibility to make sure all Secret Service texts sent and received on January 6 were preserved. And he did not do that," O'Donnell noted.
Murray was appointed by Trump in 2019 to lead the government agency. A number of journalists and reporters have noted that Trump initially wanted to appoint Secret Service agent Tony Ornato but Murray came highly recommended by Ornato.
O'Donnell also shed light on Murray's interview with Trump for the position; an interview that reportedly lasted all of 10 minutes.
"That interview may well have in included the questions. Who did you vote for for president? Who are you going to vote for for president? And do I have your complete and total loyalty at all times for anything I might want to do?" O'Donnell said.
He added, "We know that Donald Trump was not going to give that job to anyone who did not clearly pledge loyalty to Donald Trump. So, we know that James Murray is a Trump guy in every sense important to Donald Trump or Donald Trump would not have promoted him to director of the Secret Service in April of 2019."
O'Donnell went on to raise questions about whether or not Murray "had done 'a service' for Trump by 'overseeing the deletion of all the Secret Service text messages on January 6.'"
"The January 6 committee can answer all of these questions by issuing a specific personal subpoena to James Murray for his under oath testimony and a separate subpoena to James Murray for all his Secret Service text messages on January 6," he said.
He later said, "We have never seen a problem like this at the Secret Service," he said. "It's a very serious problem at the Secret Service. And James Murray is part of that problem. Or James Murray is the problem."
Murray is also facing critical responses from others. On Wednesday, July 20, MSNBC legal analyst Jill Wine-Banks tweeted on Wednesday: "There must be consequences for anyone at [Secret Service] who did not back up their data and for the leadership who did not make it happen. Director #JamesMurray must be fired today."