On Tuesday morning, President Trump blasted FBI Director Christopher Wray for his statements in which he claimed the FBI had not unfairly targeted Trump. Trump tweeted, “I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!”
I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2019
Wray had responded to the release of the Justice Department inspector general’s report on the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation and its utilization of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to go after Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Wray told ABC News, “I think it’s important for the American people to know that when the FBI opens an investigation it does so with proper predication, with proper authorization, based on the facts and nothing else. I think it’s important that the inspector general found that in this particular instance the investigation was opened with appropriate predication and authorization.”
Asked what the biggest takeaways from the IG report were, Wray answered:
One, that we fully cooperated with this independent review; two, that we fully accept its findings and recommendations, three, that the Inspector General did not find political bias or improper motivations impacting the opening of the investigation or the decision to use certain investigative tools during the investigation, including FISA, but that the Inspector general did find a number of instances where employees either failed to follow our policies, neglected to exercise appropriate diligence, or in some other way fell short of the standard of conduct and performance that we, and that I, as Director, expect of all our employees.
But again, we are, and I am, ordering over 40 corrective actions to address all of those things in a way that’s robust and serious, and we’re determined to learn the lessons from this report and to make sure the FBI emerges from this even better and stronger.
Responding to charges that the FBI was in league with the “deep state,” Wray said, “I think that’s the kind of label that is a disservice to the 37,000 men and women who work at the FBI who I think tackle their jobs with professionalism, with rigor, with objectivity and with courage, so that’s not a term I would ever use to describe our workforce and I think it’s an affront to them. Having said that, there are a number of things in this report, that in my view, fall well short of the standard of conduct and performance that we and that I expect of all our employees and we’re going to be taking a number of corrective steps to address that.”
Wray did acknowledge he intended to make changes in the FBI, stating, “I am very committed to the FBI being agile in its tackling of foreign threats. But I believe you can be agile and still scrupulously follow our rules, policies and processes.” He had written to Inspector General Horowitz that “the FBI accepts the Report’s findings and embraces the need for thoughtful, meaningful remedial action.”
Attorney General Bill Barr had slammed the FBI’s conduct during the investigation, but also said he had “full confidence in Director Wray and his team at the FBI, as well as the thousands of dedicated line agents who work tirelessly to protect our country.”