U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray defended the nation’s top law enforcement agency before lawmakers Thursday, saying agents are “working their tails off” to keep Americans safe from terrorist attacks and other threats.
“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,” Wray said before the House Judiciary Committee.
Wray’s testimony comes after the FBI has been the target of scornful attacks from President Donald Trump and some other Republicans who have alleged that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible links between Trump’s campaign and Russia during last year’s presidential election is politically biased.
Trump tweeted last weekend the FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters _ worst in History!” and urged Wray to “clean house.” Trump and some Republican lawmakers have also capitalized on disclosures that an FBI agent was taken off of Mueller’s team because of anti-Trump text messages.
Mueller, who led the FBI for 12 years, was appointed head of the special counsel probe by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey in May as he was leading the Russia probe.
The probe has consumed Trump’s White House tenure, with Trump branding the investigation a “witch hunt” and an excuse by Democrats to explain his upset victory over Hillary Clinton, his Democratic challenger.
Trump’s weekend tweets about the FBI created a new dilemma for Wray. His bosses, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein, remained publicly silent, leaving Wray to defend the agency.