Countering Trump's Attacks, FBI Director Backs the 'Brave'

Tens of thousands of agents are 'working their tails off,' says Christopher Wray
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 7, 2017 12:05 PM CST
Countering Trump's Attacks, FBI Director Backs the 'Brave'
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday countered strident attacks on his agency by President Trump, saying, "There is no finer institution than the FBI." Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee as Democrats and Republicans clashed over the significance of Trump's attacks, reports the AP. In a storm of tweets last weekend, Trump called the nation's top law enforcement agency a biased institution whose reputation is "in Tatters—worst in History!" and urged Wray to "clean house." Democrats pushed Wray to respond forcefully, while Republicans echoed Trump in suggesting they worry about political bias in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. Like Trump, they seized on revelations that FBI agent Peter Strzok was removed from Mueller's team because of anti-Trump texts.

"It is absolutely unacceptable for FBI employees to permit their own political predilections to contaminate any investigation," said GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte in reference to Strzok. "Even the appearance of impropriety will devastate the FBI's reputation." With his bosses, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Sessions' deputy, Rod Rosenstein, staying publicly silent after the president's tweets, it fell to Wray to defend the agency as including "tens of thousands of brave men and women … working their tails off to keep Americans safe" and "to keep people they will never know safe from harm." Wray conceded agents do make mistakes and said there are processes in place to hold them accountable. (More FBI stories.)

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