FBI Director Christopher Wray, the man President Trump appointed to replace James Comey after his controversial firing, defended the agency against the president’s tweeted attacks over the weekend while testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) brought up the tweet in question during his time with Wray, asking the since-confirmed director to respond to Trump’s criticism of the bureau. His predecessor had already shaded the president for the tweet while tweeting a quote from himself praising the agency as “honest,” “strong,” and “independent.” Did Wray have anything to add?
Turns out he did, for the former George W. Bush appointee to the Justice Department asked for extra time to answer the question “because it’s something that matters to me”:
“There is no shortage of opinions out there. What I can tell you is that the FBI that I see 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. The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of brave men and women who are working as hard as they can to keep people that they will never know safe from harm. The FBI that I see is reflected in folks like the new class of agents that I swore in at Quantico two days ago. Hard-charging, high-integrity people.”
As for the actual content of Trump’s damning tweet, which pinpointed the problems with Comey’s apparently “phony and dishonest [Hillary] Clinton investigation,” Wray had something to say about that too. “Do we make mistakes? You bet we make mistakes, just like everybody’s that human makes mistakes,” he said. “When we make mistakes, there are independent processes like that of the outside, independent Inspector General, that will dive and drive deep into the facts surrounding those mistakes.”
In conclusion, Wray said, “We will hold our folks accountable if that’s appropriate” whenever such investigations are completed. Meanwhile, Trump’s tweet still stands.