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Tag: christopher wray

Trump Won’t Say If He Has Confidence in FBI Director Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump would not say whether he has confidence in his FBI Director Christopher Wray during an interview with The Hill.

The president also emphasized that he disagrees with Wray’s opinion that FBI agents didn’t spy on his 2016 campaign.

Wray told Congress in May he would not describe FBI investigations as “spying” when asked about Attorney General Bill Bar’s assertion that federal law enforcement officials “spied” on the Trump campaign.

“I mean, I disagree with him on that and I think a lot of people are disagreeing,” Trump told The Hill. “You may even disagree with him on that.”

When asked about his level of confidence in his FBI director, Trump said, “Well, we’ll see how it turns out.”

Trump’s response raised eyebrows because he fired then-FBI Director James Comey in April 2017, a decision that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Later, Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, fired then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

FBI Director Wray May Be Subpoenaed over Trump Investigation

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray may be the next high-ranking federal law enforcement officials to be hit with a subpoena for failing to be transparent.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said Wednesday he’s considering subpoenaing Wray to learn the status of counterintelligence investigations into President Trump and Russia, CNN reports.

The investigation began in June 2016, but it remains unclear whether the probe has ended or “mushroomed into a set of other counterintelligence investigations,” Schiff said.

“We are determined to get answers, and we are running out of patience. If necessary, we’ll subpoena the director and require him to come in and provide those answers under oath,” the California Democrat said.

FBI Director Wray Defends Bureau, Says No Evidence ‘Spying’ Occurred

FBI Director Christopher Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray distanced himself from Attorney General William Barr, saying Tuesday he’s unaware of any illegal surveillance and that he doesn’t use the politically charged term “spying.”

“That’s not the term I would use,” Wray told senators at a budget hearing when asked about Barr’s allegations that the bureau may have abused their powers in investigating Trump’s campaign.

The question came from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who said he “was very concerned by” Barr’s “use of the word spying, which I think is a loaded word.”

Wray also was asked if he had “any evidence that any illegal surveillance” of Trump’s campaign occurred.

“I don’t think I personally have any evidence of that sort,” Wray said.

The FBI director also offered to help explain to Barr how the Russia investigation began.

Wray: FBI Arrested Hundreds of Terrorism Suspects in Past Year

FBI Director Christopher Wray (file photo)

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating thousands of terrorism cases and arrested hundreds of terrorism suspects in the past year, FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate committee on Wednesday.

“Right now as I sit here, we’re currently investigating about 5,000 terrorism cases across America and around the world and about 1,000 of those cases are homegrown violent extremists, and they’re in all 50 states,” Wray said at a hearing about security threats before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“In the last year or so we’ve made hundreds of arrests of terrorism subjects,” Wray added.

Wray is expected to be questioned about the FBI’s controversial investigation of sexual assault claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

FBI Director Wray’s Low-Key Approach May Be What the Doctor Ordered

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Sunday in Orlando. (ticklethewire.com photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ORLANDO —  FBI Director Christopher Wray delivered a serviceable, but unimpressive speech to thousands of members of the federal, state and local law enforcement community on Sunday at the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

He talked about terrorism, the need for the FBI to work closer with local law enforcement, active shooters, officer deaths and the difficulties, but great rewards of working in the field.

Then, after 35 minutes, he was done and walked off stage to an obligatory round of applause. No questions. No schmoozing. No truly inspiring words. It wasn’t a very meaty speech.

Wray is a nice guy. Low key. Serious about the job. But he’s no rock star like his predecessor James Comey, or for that matter, Robert Mueller, a stoic man who looked and acted like an FBI director plucked out of central casting.

But in these challenging times for the bureau, he may be just what the agency needs. He’s flying under the radar in Washington and he’s not a regular fixture on the nightly news. Being a federal law enforcement official,  and flying too high inside the Beltway can lead to a public beheading from the president.

President Donald Trump has been on a jihad to discredit the bureau and the Justice Department as Mueller moves forward like a heat missile in the Russia probe, flipping one Trump insider after another.    

Not since the Nixonian years, has a president displayed such naked hostility toward the bureau.

The bureau has caught hell from Trump for not indicting Hillary Clinton and for investigating Russia ties to his campaign. To top that off, the FBI was put in an untenable situation when it was asked to do a background check on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but was then handcuffed and prevented from doing a first-rate job. Critics called the investigation a sham. And to some degree, considering agents weren’t allowed to do a full-court press, it was.

Federal agents are divided. Some think Trump is doing a good job. Some think he’s doing a good job, but think he’s a jerk. And some are simply appalled by his behavior and actions, including his free-flowing tweets. Comey never liked Trump, even before the firing.

Wray’s low key approach may not be publicly inspiring, but it may be just what Washington needs at a time like this.

And with all that’s going on, from the Russia probe, to the Trump attacks to the Brett Kavanaugh mess,  it may explain why he kept his head low on Sunday and walked away without allowing questions.

 

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.”