President Joe Biden will keep FBI Director Chris Wray at his post for the foreseeable future, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced on Thursday.
Psaki sent out a tweet clarifying comments she made at a Wednesday press briefing. During the presidential transition, Biden’s team had pledged to keep Wray at his post if former President Donald Trump did not fire the FBI head before the inauguration.
“I caused an unintentional ripple yesterday so wanted to state very clearly President Biden intends to keep FBI Director Wray on in his role and he has confidence in the job he is doing,” Psaki said.
I caused an unintentional ripple yesterday so wanted to state very clearly President Biden intends to keep FBI Director Wray on in his role and he has confidence in the job he is doing.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) January 21, 2021
Wray was often a target of criticism for Trump last year. As Axios notes, “Trump always distrusted the FBI and the intelligence community, and was angered by Wray’s perceived failure to punish those involved in the Russia investigation and to investigate Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.”
House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) praised Biden’s decision to keep Wray on board and allow him to finish out his 10-year term, of which about 6 years are left.
“Such terms, which transcend administrations, were intended to insulate a director from the kind of improper personal or political considerations that led Donald Trump to fire former Director James Comey,” Schiff said.
In September, Wray testified in the House that his biggest concern surrounding the 2020 election was the spread of “misinformation.” Wray’s answer earned a rebuke from then-President Trump, who had been questioning the security of an election conducted with mail-in ballots.
Wray also pointed to Russia as “very active” in working to influence the election against Biden. The then-president took issue with Wray failing to mention China, as well.
“Obviously, China is at the top of the list,” Trump said at the time. “And I think Russia and North Korea and many other countries can be talked about. But China would be at the top of that list, so I don’t know why that’s not mentioned.”
At a Senate hearing the next week, Wray again rankled Trump when he testified that he had not seen evidence of a “coordinated national voter fraud effort” ahead of the election. Then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows slammed Wray the following day, saying “With all due respect to Director Wray, he has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI, let alone figuring out whether there’s any kind of voter fraud.”
On Thursday, House Oversight and Reform Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) sent a letter to Wray demanding that he conduct a “robust examination” of the social media platform Parler.
As The Daily Wire reports:
Democrats, looking to tie the company to a January 6th riot at the United States Capitol that left five dead and dozens injured, now want to know whether Parler, which only recently relaunched, at least partly, after being booted from Amazon’s web servers, is being bankrolled by a hostile foreign government.
No other social media platform is set for scrutiny, according to Maloney’s letter, even though both Twitter and Facebook, as CNN notes, are still playing host to “posts promoting violence during inauguration week.”
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