Trump Attacks FBI Director Christopher Wray After He Agrees With Inspector General’s Findings
President Donald Trump lambasted FBI Director Christopher Wray after he backed the findings of a report issued by the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The report found that the investigation into Russian election interference was properly launched, free of bias and bereft of political motivation. Trump tweeted angrily last week:
I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2019
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Trump’s tweet hints that he’s lost faith in Wray, whom he appointed in 2017. White House officials think Trump is hesitant to fire Wray as he does not want history to repeat itself. Trump’s decision to dismiss his first FBI director James Comey paved the path for the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump also said his FBI director was “wrong” after Wray testified at a May Senate hearing that it would be “wise” for political operatives to inform his agency about attempts by foreign governments to interfere in US elections.
FBI directors are appointed to 10-year terms in an attempt to guarantee independence from political interference.
The president referred to the much-talked-about inspector general’s report to vindicate his doubts about the FBI and its decision to launch an investigation into his political campaign ties to Russia.
Wray, on the other hand, sought to underscore that the investigation’s finding showed that the agency acted properly.
“I think it’s important that the inspector general found that in this particular instance the investigation was opened with appropriate predication and authorization,” Wray told ABC News hours after the report was released.
The 435-page report of the inspector general poked holes into Trump’s claims that the FBI illegally spied on his campaign, although it does censure FBI leaders and employees for how they handled four applications for surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) targeting campaign aide Carter Page.
Attorney General William Barr blasted the FBI last week for launching what he called an “intrusive investigation” into a presidential campaign based on the “thinnest of suspicions.”
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