By Steve Neavling
Showing a disdain or ignorance of the FBI’s independence, President Trump suggested the bureau’s next director should report directly to him during a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times .
Trump cited some alternative history by suggesting that the FBI director began reporting to the Justice Department while Richard Nixon was president.
“The FBI person really reports to the president of the United States,” Trump said in what clearly is an untrue statement.
The FBI’s website states, “Within the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI is responsible to the attorney general, and it reports its findings to U.S. Attorneys across the country. The FBI’s intelligence activities are overseen by the Director of National Intelligence.”
Trump suggested “there was nothing official, there was nothing from Congress” that requires the director to report to the Justice Department.
“There was nothing — anything. But the FBI person really reports directly to the president of the United States, which is interesting. You know, which is interesting. And I think we’re going to have a great new FBI director.”
Trump’s comments raise questions about his expectation of his nominee for FBI director, Christopher Wray.