FBI Director Christopher Wray defends agency after Trump's attacks

Sergio Conner
December 8, 2017

Trump sharply criticized the nation's top law enforcement agency in the wake of a plea deal by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. "What I can tell you is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep Americans safe from the next terrorist attack, gang violence, child predators, spies from Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran".

Wray sought to fend off the attacks on the agency by expressing pride in the agents, analysts and other personnel who he said were working to protect Americans.

Wray became the director four months ago after Comey was sacked by Trump, and the new director has tried to keep a low profile and steer the agency clear of the public fights surrounding Trump, Clinton and Comey.

Wray was pressed on Trump's tweet during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.

Trump loves the "courageous" agency when it's digging into Hillary Clinton's activities, but he blasts agents when they might be coming for him, Tapper pointed out Thursday.

In a letter to Wray on Tuesday, December 5 Senator Charles Grassley demanded information on Strzok's role in Comey's decision not to prosecute Clinton, his role in the early Russian collusion investigation, and any communications he made with negative statements about Trump or positive ones on Clinton. The DOJ is now analyzing more than 10,000 of the agent's texts.

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"I think these matters are being looked at as they should be by somebody outside the FBI and when those findings come to me I will take appropriate action if necessary", Wray said, referencing the ongoing inspector general investigation. "Even the appearance of impropriety will devastate the FBI's reputation", Goodlatte said.

Christopher Wray faces a tough test four months into his leadership of the FBI: He must defend America's top law enforcement agency against blistering attacks from President Donald Trump without putting his own job at risk.

Wray will testify before the House Judiciary beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

That description is a far cry from how the president described the agency on Sunday, when he said "its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History!" in a tweet.

He was referencing when special counsel Robert Mueller removed one of the FBI's top Russian counterintelligence experts from his team of investigators after an internal investigation found messages he sent that could be interpreted as showing political bias for Hillary Clinton and against Trump, according to U.S. officials briefed on the matter.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said that if every member of Mueller's team who was "anti-Trump" were kicked off the investigation, "I don't know if there'd be anyone left".

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