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Tag: christopher wray

FBI Director Wray Defends Bureau Against Incessant Attacks by Trump & His Allies

FBI Director Christopher Wray defends the bureau in an interview on “CBS This Morning.”

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray is defending the bureau against incessant attacks, most notably from President Trump, over the investigation of Russia meddling during the presidential election.

Wray told “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Norah O’Donnell that critics like Trump are waging a disinformation campaign designed to hurt the FBI’s reputation.

When asked whether Wray thinks “there are some questions about the reputation of the FBI,” the director said the public is being deceived.

“Well, I think sometimes watching the news and certainly trolling the internet, you would think that the FBI has only had two investigations over the last three years,” Wray said. “But I will tell you that when you get out into real America, people know differently.

Trump continues to call the Russia probe a “witch hunt” intended to undermine his presidency.

Terrorism Threats Are More Ubiquitous 17 Years After Sept. 11 Attacks, FBI Director Says

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Seventeen years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the threat of terrorism “is everywhere, coast to coast, north, south, east, west,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told “CBS This Morning” in a multi-part interview that airs today. 

In the past year, Wray revealed the FBI made about 120 terrorism-related arrests.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, America is “safer,” Wray told “CBS This Morning,” but he emphasized that the threats have “evolved” and create new challenges to federal law enforcement.

For example, he said, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force receives about 15,000 tips a year, or “basically 40 tips a day, two tips an hour.”

The good news is that the bureau has stymied numerous terrorism attacks in the past year, from plots to wage violence at the San Francisco pier to a shopping mall in Miami.

“People think of the 9/11 threat, they think New York, they think D.C. Today’s terrorism threat is everywhere, coast to coast, north, south, east, west,” Wray said. “It’s not just big cities.”

One of those cases was in Harrisburg, Pa., where a 21-year-od woman “was circulating kill lists of U.S. service members, with names, addresses and photographs.”

FBI Director Seeks to Bring ‘Normalcy’ to Bureau in Midst of ‘Turbulent Times’

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

When President Trump offered Christopher Wray the top position in the FBI, the former assistant attorney general knew his job would not be easy.

After all, his boss – Trump – was trying to convince the public that the top law enforcement agencies were out to get him and could not be trusted. The FBI, the president insisted repeatedly and loudly, was part of a political “witch hunt”intent on running him out of office.

This month, Wray entered his second year as the director of the FBI, replacing James Comey after the president fired him in May 2017, prompting the assistant attorney general to appoint a special counsel to investigate Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election.

As Trump continues to try to discredit the FBI, Wray said Thursday that he is trying to usher in “normalcy” in the midst of “turbulent times.”

“My big point of emphasis has been that even though we live in tumultuous times, turbulent times, I’m trying to bring calm, stability — dare I say it — normalcy, in an environment where I think there’s an appetite for that,” Wray said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

The drama continued this week with the firing of special agent Peter Strzok for sending anti-Trump text messages during the presidential election.

On a weekly basis, Trump derides the FBI, Justice Department and special counsel Robert Mueller on Twitter – his preferred means of spewing out criticism.

“Social media commentary has its place, but that’s not what drives our work,” he said.

Wray described his relationship with the president as “professional.”

Still, Wray defended Rod Rosenstein, the assistant attorney general who has caught much of the criticism for hiring Mueller.

Wray declined to address the Republicans who are beating the drum for Trump.

“I’m not going to be weighing in, commenting on other’s opinions,” he said.

Wray said he won’t let outside criticism hinder his focus on the FBI and its mission.

“I’m a big believer in the idea that actions speak louder than words, and so what I look at is what do I see in terms of people’s commitment to the mission, success in the mission, desire to work here,” he said. “Our focus is our oath, our mission, the rule of law.”

FBI Director Wray on Putin’s Offer: No Thanks

FBI Director Christopher Wray (file photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thanks but no thanks.

That’s the message from FBI Director Christopher Wray, who says he’s not interested in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to have American investigators go to Russia to observe interviews of suspects wanted by the U.S.

“I never want to say never, but it’s certainly not high on our list of investigative techniques,” Wray said wryly at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg News.

Wray also dismissed Putin’s proposed that Russian investigators be allowed to come to the U.S. and observe questioning of suspects that they’re interested in.

“That’s probably even lower on our list of investigative techniques,” Wray said.

On the Mueller probe, Wray said:

“I think it’s a professional investigation conducted by a man that I’ve known to be a straight shooter.”

Two of Law Enforcement’s Big Dogs Will Testify Thursday on the Hill

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifying before a House committee in December 2017.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Who knew C-Span could be so interesting?

Two big names in federal law enforcement, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, both Trump appointees, are scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee about a recent Justice Department inspector general report that White House allies claim proves bias among FBI investigators in the Russia probe, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that House Republicans are pushing for a resolution that would set a July 6 deadline for the Justice Department to turn over confidential records on the FBI’s use of secret surveillance during the campaign.

 

FBI Director Wray Says Bureau Should Learn Lessons from IG Report

Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI, Director Christopher Wray addressed a gathering of former and current federal agents near Los Angeles International Airport on Monday, saying the bureau must learn lessons from the critical Inspector General report, ABC News reports.

“We’re going to make sure that even though the report didn’t find bias actually impacted the investigation, that’s not good enough for me,” Wray said. “I want to make sure everybody understands the lessons of the report. We are doing in-depth training on the findings.”

Wray then laid out his plan for moving the FBI forward.

“So these are challenging times for the organization,” he said. “We’re having our turn in the barrel.”

FBI’s Christopher Way Defends Mueller While GOP Says Probe Is Tainted

FBI Director Christopher Wray (file photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

So many politicians, so many opinions.

FBI Director Christopher Wray stood by Special Counsel Robert Mueller during a hearing Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, while Republicans asserted the Russian election probe is tainted by anti-Trump bias, Bloomberg New reports.

“I do not believe Special Counsel Mueller is on a witch hunt,” Wray testified.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee’s Republican chairman, said the Inspector General report shows Democrat Hillary Clinton got “kid-glove” treatment from the FBI and Justice Department while they continue to use “brass-knuckle” tactics against Trump, Bloomberg reports.
Meanwhile, Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified that he’s still probing the FBI conduct to see how former Director James Comey handled his private memos and whether underlings may have given sensitive details to reporters.

FBI Director Christopher Wray Writes: ‘IG’s Report Makes Clear That We Have Some Work To Do’

Christopher Wray has been the director of the FBI since August 2017.

Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Christopher Wray
For USA Today

There has been no shortage of commentary and debate about the FBI lately, and the new report from the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General is a welcome contribution from an independent voice on events of the 2016 election season. The Bureau is entrusted with a lot of authority to carry out our mission, and with that power comes close scrutiny. That’s as it should be. Fair and independent oversight makes the FBI a stronger organization — and that, in turn, makes our country safer.

While the Inspector General didn’t find any evidence of political bias or improper consideration impacting the investigation under review, all of us at the FBI take this report seriously, and we accept its findings and recommendations. We’ve already taken steps to address many of the concerns it raises. We’ll change what we need to change and improve what can be made better and stronger, and we’ll move forward with renewed focus and determination. Because that is the essence of the FBI — we learn from the past, we get better at what we need to do, and we continually strive to be the very best we can be.

The IG’s report makes clear that we have some work to do, but I also want our fellow citizens to realize something important about the scope of this report. It’s focused on a specific set of events in 2016, and on a narrow set of employees connected to those events. Nothing in the IG’s report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole, or the FBI as an institution.

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