FBI Director Christopher Wray was forced to respond to an old tweet from President Trump earlier this week, when he sat to testify before Congress.
Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) pushed Wray to talk about President Trump, something that Director Wray was obviously not happy to do.
Here’s the Tweet in question:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017
Martin Heinrich: Thank you, chairman. Director Wray, the FBI is accused of political bias recently against the president by the president himself. In fact, he said the FBI’s reputation is, quote, in tatters. Do you think the FBI’s reputation is in any way in tatters, and are you confident in the independence of your agency?
Christopher Wray: Senator, there’s no shortage of opinions about our agency just like every other agency up here and just like the Congress. I can only speak from my experience.
Martin Heinrich: You’re doing better than the Congress.
Christopher Wray: And my experience has been that every office I go to, every division I go to has patriots, people who could do anything else with their careers but have chosen to work for the FBI because they believe in serving others. And the feedback I get from our state and local law enforcement partners, from foreign partners, from folks we worked with in the private sector in the community, office after office after office has been very, very gratifying and reassuring to me. And I’m a big believer in the idea that the FBI speaks through its work, through its cases, through the victims it protects. And I encourage our folks not to get too hung up on what I consider to be noise on tv and social media.
Martin Heinrich: So you haven’t seen any evidence of some sort of inherent political bias in the agency?
Christopher Wray: No.
Martin Heinrich: How do statements like that impact morale of rank and file agents, are they able to shake that off?
Christopher Wray: Well, we have 37,000 people. They’re all individuals. They all think in their own way, but I guess I would say our people are very mission focused, they’re accustomed to the fact that we do some of the hardest things there are to do for a living, and I like to think our folks are pretty sturdy. I think of a woman I met just the other day, an agent in the Miami office who had a bad accident, 12 stitches in her face, and the next day, boom, back at work. I think about folks in the San Juan office I visited recently. You want to talk about people going through a real storm, they do it and they’re out in the community.