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Christopher Wray stays at the helm of the FBI.
Less than 24 hours after President Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, generated speculation about Wray’s future after giving a non-committal answer when asked if Biden had confidence in the FBI director, Psaki made it clear that Wray will remain on his position.
“I caused an accidental ripple yesterday so [I] would express very clearly President Biden intends to keep FBI Director Wray in his role, and he has confidence in the job he is doing, ”Psaki wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
Wray, a low-key lawyer and former Attorney General, is less than four years into his 10-year tenure on top of the FBI. He was hand-picked by former President Donald Trump to head the agency after Trump fired James Comey.
But Wray quickly fell out of favor with Trump, who considered him disloyal and often speculated about firing him.
Trump and his allies attacked Wray for what they perceived as his unwillingness to eradicate alleged bad actors within the FBI.
Wray also raged Trump and his inner circle during the 2020 presidential election to reject Trump’s false allegations of voter fraud and to reiterate that Russia interfered in the competition to try to harm then-candidate Biden.
Since taking over the presidency in August 2017, Wray has been trying to remove the FBI from Washington’s bruises political fights.
In public statements and congressional statements, he maintained the integrity of the agency and its staff. If mistakes were made, he said, they would be addressed and corrected.
He also defended the Special Council’s Russia investigation and repeatedly said it was not a “witch hunt,” as Trump called it.
Internally, he reminded FBI staff to “stay calm and tackle hard” and stressed that the agency and its 35,000 employees must do everything in the book.
It gave Wray respect and support for those who work for the agency.
The FBI Agents Association, which represents more than 14,000 active and retired special agents, released letters the week before the election to both Trump and Biden, urging them to let Wray end his 10-year term as director.
“Director Wray operates independently of partisan activities, and his nomination and acceptance of the position was based on this fact,” wrote the association’s president, Brian O’Hare. “He has not led the presidium in a political way, and politics should not determine his fate as director.”