Politics

Trump slams FBI Director Christopher Wray for backing DOJ Russia report findings

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Key Points
  • President Trump slams FBI Director Christopher Wray for endorsing the Justice Department inspector general's finding that the bureau's probe of potential links between Russia and the Trump campaign was opened properly.
  • In a tweet, Trump says his FBI chief "will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!"
FBI Director Christopher Wray arrives for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing titled Threats to the Homeland, in Hart Building on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

President Donald Trump slammed FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday for endorsing the Justice Department inspector general's finding that the bureau's probe of potential links between Russia and the Trump campaign was opened properly.

In a tweet Tuesday, Trump said the man he appointed to head the law-enforcement agency "will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!"

Trump tweet

The inspector general's report, which is more than 400 pages long, laid out the details behind the FBI's decision to investigate possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. The report was released Monday.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who conducted the probe of the agency's actions, found that contrary to Trump's claims, there was no evidence that political bias influenced the Russia investigation. Trump consistently said that investigation into the 2016 election was a way for the "deep state" to undermine him and his campaign.

"We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI's decision" to seek surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, Horowitz's report concludes.

Wray, whom Trump appointed in 2017 after he fired former FBI Director James Comey over the Russia probe, released a statement on Monday saying that "the FBI will not hesitate to take appropriate disciplinary action if warranted at the completion of the required procedures for disciplinary review."

Wray also told ABC News that it was "important that the inspector general found that, in this particular instance, the investigation was opened with appropriate predication and authorization."

In his statement, Wray said he has "ordered more than 40 corrective steps" to address what the report cited as "serious performance failures."

Among the failures, the report noted, were "factual misstatements that "taken together resulted in [surveillance] applications that made it appear that the information supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case."

In a Fox News interview on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham completely veered from Trump's tweet, which the president posted before her interview with the network.

"I don't believe so," she said, in response to a question asking if Trump was unsatisfied with Wray. "I think that one thing about this president, if he's not happy with you, you will be the first to know. He's got great respect for the FBI and all intelligence agencies and for the thousands and thousands of law enforcement officers who work there."

Attorney General Bill Barr's thoughts on Wray also strayed from what Trump said this morning. Barr in an NBC News interview on Tuesday said he was confident in Wray.

Comey took a victory lap after the report was released Monday.

"Although it took two years, the truth is finally out," the former FBI director wrote in The Washington Post. "There was no illegal wiretapping, there were no informants inserted into the campaign, there was no 'spying' on the Trump campaign."