- FBI Director Christopher Wray said he “appreciates” and took “very seriously” a report from the Justice Department’s watchdog that examines the conduct of several officials including James Comey, the former director.
- The report comes amid a trying time for the agency, which has endured withering attacks from President Donald Trump and others who believe the FBI is biased against Trump.
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday said he “appreciates” and took “very seriously” a new report from the Justice Department’s watchdog that examines the conduct of several officials including James Comey, the former director.
The report found that Comey deviated from FBI and Justice Department norms while he was leading the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, released the 568-page report on Thursday.
Since shortly after President Donald Trump took office, he has railed against the FBI, Comey, and Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director, with the accusation that the bureau at large was enveloped in a conspiracy to undermine his presidency.
Many of Trump’s most vocal supporters have latched on to that narrative as the president has publicly decried the FBI’s leadership and made unsubstantiated claims that morale at the agency was low.
On Thursday, Wray offered a low-key rebuttal to those claims, without mentioning Trump’s name. “The opinions to me that matter are the opinions of the people that are relevant to our work, day in and day out, all across this country,” Wray said during a press conference.
“Those people are having to make important decisions that protect lives,” Wray said. “The opinions of the people that they have to engage with on that work, those are the opinions that matter to me.”
Wray also offered several examples of the work the FBI had done recently:
- In the past several months, the FBI disrupted terrorist attacks from places including Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and a crowded shopping mall in Miami.
- In March, the FBI charged what it said was an Iranian state-sponsored hacker ring with stealing terabytes of data from US companies, universities, and government agencies.
- In Austin, Texas, the FBI deployed more than 600 people to assist in the package bombings that killed two people and terrorized locals.
- So far, 1,305 children were rescued from child predators, some of them as young as 7 months old.
- More than 4,600 suspected gang members were arrested in the past several months.
- The FBI’s hostage-rescue team deployed about 27 times for missions.
“I see extraordinary people doing extraordinary work,” Wray said. “Again, and again, I hear remarkable stories, frankly, inspiring stories about the work the men and women of the FBI are doing to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution.”
Wray conceded that while the report highlighted some shortcomings at the FBI, changes in policy and practice were already underway.
Watch FBI Director Christopher Wray’s comments here:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 14, 2018