After Trump criticism, Wray says there's 'no finer institution' than FBI

By Allen Cone  |  Updated Dec. 7, 2017 at 3:25 PM
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Dec. 7 (UPI) -- FBI Director Christopher Wray told a House committee Thursday there is "no finer institution" than the bureau, just days after President Donald Trump said it was "in tatters."

Wray, confirmed as FBI director Aug. 1, defended his agency to the House Judiciary Committee.

"It is the honor of my life to lead the FBI," Wray said. "There is no finer institution than the FBI and no finer people who work there."

Wray did not mention Trump or his comments, but said "there is no shortage of opinions out there."

When asked how Trump's criticism has affected FBI agents and their work, Wray said, "The agents, analysts and staff of the FBI are big boys and girls."

"The FBI I see are tens of thousands of agents who working their tails off," he added. "The FBI I see are tens of thousands of men and women who are hard charging people of integrity."

Before Wray's testimony, committee Chair Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., also criticized the FBI.

"Investigations must not be tainted by individuals imposing their own personal political opinions," Goodlatte said in an opening statement. "We do not know the magnitude of this insider bias on Mr. Mueller's team nor do we have a clear understanding of the full magnitude of bias reflected in the Russia investigation and prior Clinton email investigation. ... One thing is clear, though -- it is absolutely unacceptable for FBI employees to permit their own political predilections to contaminate any investigation."

The Justice Department announced that FBI agent Peter Strzok, a top counter-intelligence official, was reassigned to the human resources office during the summer from Special Counsel Robert Mueller team investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

On Saturday, it was reported Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz discovered Strzok and another FBI official on Mueller's team had exchanged texts critical of Trump.

Strzok also helped run the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

"After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters -- worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness," Trump tweeted Sunday.

Earlier this week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes directed a contempt of Congress resolution against Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for "hiding" the agent's alleged political bias against Trump.

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