In a Friday speech introducing his nominee to lead the FBI, James Comey, President Barack Obama said “fidelity” three times.
Speaking of FBI agents, Obama said, “They embody the core principles of fidelity, bravery and integrity.”
Comey, a former Department of Justice official under President George W. Bush, now faces confirmation in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Were he confirmed, Comey would take over the agency from Director Robert Mueller, who has run the FBI since just before Sept. 11, 2011 — longer than any other FBI director except for J. Edgar Hoover.
Speaking of Mueller, Obama said, “Like us, they’ve admired his tenacity, but also his calm under pressure, his devotion to our security, and his fidelity to the values that make us who we are.”
Mueller is set to step down Sept. 4.
Previously, Comey was best known for a hospital bedside showdown over warrantless wiretapping during his service in the Bush administration.
Speaking of Comey, Obama said, “Jim understand that in time of crisis, we are not judged solely by how many plots we disrupt or criminals we bring to justice; we are also judged by our commitment to the Constitution we’ve sworn to defend, and to the values and civil liberties we’ve pledged to protect.”
“As we’ve seen in recent days,” he continued, “this work of striking a balance between our security but also making sure we are maintaining fidelity to those values we cherish, is a constant mission.”
In his acceptance speech, Comey thanked his wife for her love, support and occasional “constructive criticism.”
In 2012, the government’s security and intelligence apparatus was mired in scandal when CIA Director David Petraeus resigned after it was revealed that he had cheated on his wife with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
In 2012, the Secret Service was also embroiled in scandal involving prostitutes and agents, some of whom were married.