FBI Director Christopher Wray defends agency after Trump's attacks

FBI Director Christopher Wray defended his agency Thursday in his first public appearance since President Donald Trum...

Posted: Dec 7, 2017 2:42 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2017 2:42 PM

FBI Director Christopher Wray defended his agency Thursday in his first public appearance since President Donald Trump said the bureau is "in tatters."

Wray told the House Judiciary Committee his agents work hard "protecting the American people and upholding the rule of law in all 50 states and in about 80 countries around the world."

President Trump had tweeted that the FBI's reputation was "in tatters"

Wray said: "There is no finer institution than the FBI and no finer people than the men and women who work there and are its very beating heart."

"Let me start by saying that it is for me the honor of a lifetime to be here representing the men and women of the FBI," he said. "There is no finer institution than the FBI and no finer people than the men and women who work there and are its very beating heart."

When asked about Trump's tweets over the weekend criticizing the FBI, Wray told Rep. Jerry Nadler "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 and North Korea, and Iran," he responded. "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."

FBI employees will be held accountable if "appropriate," Wray added.

"When we make mistakes there are independent processes like that of the outside, independent inspector general that will drive and dive deep into the facts surrounding those mistakes," he said. "And when that independent fact finding is complete, we will hold our folks accountable if that is appropriate."

Trump on Sunday tweeted that the FBI's reputation was "in tatters" and the "worst in history," seizing on reports about possible bias from a former top bureau official.

Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R- Virginia, asked Wray about what he's doing to clear the ranks of the FBI by people "tainted" by bias.

He was referencing when special counsel Robert Mueller removed one of the FBI's top Russian counterintelligence experts from his team of investigators after an internal investigation found messages he sent that could be interpreted as showing political bias for Hillary Clinton and against Trump, according to US officials briefed on the matter.

Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of the Clinton email server as the No. 2 official in the FBI's counterintelligence division, left the Mueller team this past summer, multiple sources said.

"I think these matters are being looked at as they should be by somebody outside the FBI and when those findings come to me I will take appropriate action if necessary," Wray said, referencing the ongoing inspector general investigation. "The first thing I'm doing is respecting the outside independent investigations that are underway ... My preference is to be one of these people who is not an act first and ask questions later guy."

The hearing, a standard oversight appearance for the FBI director that was announced last week, has taken on new significance in recent days.

After Trump's tweets, Wray sent a message to employees Monday, telling staff that they should "expect -- and welcome -- people asking tough questions."

"We find ourselves under the microscope each and every day -- and rightfully so. We do hard work for a living," Wray said, not mentioning the President specifically.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 1495
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Ramsey4777222
Stearns231219
Dakota224890
Anoka2155107
Nobles16616
Olmsted107615
Washington104840
Mower9322
Rice8277
Scott6844
Clay58037
Kandiyohi5661
Wright4535
Blue Earth4422
Todd4002
Carver3611
Lyon3052
Sherburne3035
Freeborn2890
Steele2231
Watonwan2150
Benton2123
St. Louis17415
Martin1615
Nicollet15512
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1278
Winona12015
Crow Wing10412
Pine1030
Chisago971
Otter Tail921
Le Sueur911
McLeod850
Carlton830
Dodge830
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Polk812
Chippewa761
Isanti650
Itasca6412
Waseca620
Douglas610
Meeker591
Morrison591
Becker550
Jackson550
Faribault540
Murray540
Sibley532
Pennington510
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Brown312
Pipestone311
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Beltrami290
Rock290
Yellow Medicine290
Renville282
Fillmore270
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood170
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Cass142
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Roseau100
Clearwater70
Mahnomen71
Lake60
Hubbard50
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 30173

Reported Deaths: 718
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6275178
Woodbury320144
Black Hawk218058
Buena Vista170511
Linn123882
Johnson12318
Dallas122329
Marshall103519
Story7463
Pottawattamie71911
Scott70410
Wapello70230
Crawford6752
Muscatine62444
Dubuque60922
Sioux4610
Tama45829
Wright3771
Louisa36013
Jasper32117
Plymouth3134
Dickinson2592
Warren2581
Washington2349
Hamilton1871
Webster1702
Boone1421
Cerro Gordo1381
Clarke1272
Clay1270
Allamakee1264
Mahaska11517
Shelby1110
Clinton1041
Poweshiek1048
Pocahontas931
Carroll911
Bremer906
Des Moines862
Henry853
Franklin840
Cedar801
Taylor790
Emmet780
Cherokee751
Monona740
Floyd682
Marion680
Hardin650
Guthrie644
Sac630
Benton621
Jefferson580
Osceola580
Jones560
Harrison530
Humboldt531
Butler522
Buchanan511
Iowa510
Lee502
Monroe506
Hancock490
Calhoun482
Delaware481
Lyon400
Madison402
Clayton393
Davis391
Mills360
Palo Alto360
Winneshiek360
Grundy350
Fayette340
Mitchell340
Kossuth330
Lucas304
Greene280
Howard280
Chickasaw270
Jackson270
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Cass210
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
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Worth150
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