A group of supporters protest the FBI raid of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday. Photo By Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 11 (UPI) -- FBI Director Christopher Wray, the bureau's top official who signed off on the raid of former President Donald Trump's home in Florida this week, has condemned threats coming from radical far-right corners of social media in response to the operation.
Wray spoke publicly on Wednesday for the first time since the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. Dozens of agents executed a search warrant at Trump's home there in connection with possible missing and classified documents from Trump's White House.
All presidential records are required by federal law to be turned over to the National Archives.
At an event in Omaha on Wednesday, Wray took a few questions from reporters and condemned the threats of violence in far-right circles like Gab, the social site frequented by White supremacists.
"Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter what anyone is upset about," he said, according to ABC News. "In the last few years, we've had an alarming rise in violence against law enforcement."
Wray, who was appointed to the post of FBI director by Trump in 2017, called the threats "deplorable" and "dangerous."
Wray also met with law enforcement officials in the area, discussing local-level crime and cyberthreats to the agriculture industry.
An FBI representative told ABC News that it is "always concerned about violence and threats of violence to law enforcement" and said agents are working "closely with our law enforcement partners to assess and respond to such threats, which are reprehensible and dangerous."
Despite calls from angry supporters and Republicans for an explanation about the raid at Mar-a-Lago, it is standard practice at the Justice Department and virtually every law enforcement agency in the country to withhold comments on ongoing investigations. Photo By Gary I Rothstein/UPI
"As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately," the representative added.
Wray's concerns were echoed in a separate statement by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which called out "politically motivated threats of violence."
"Levying threats against ... federal employees simply applying the law to the facts of a case is not a democratic way to solve anything," Larry Cosme, the group's president, said, according to ABC News. "An investigation will not occur unless there are allegations of violations of the law and will not progress unless there is evidence of wrongdoing."
The Mar-a-Lago raid was legal and based on evidence of wrongdoing. But many Trump supporters and Republicans continue to blast the raid as politically motivated and are demanding more information about the operation.
Some, including House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, want Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland to immediately explain why they ordered the search. Wray was the first Justice Department official to make any statement about the raid, but emphasized that "that's not something I can talk about."
It is standard practice at the Justice Department and virtually every law enforcement agency in the country to withhold comments on ongoing investigations.
While at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, agents reportedly broke into a safe while seeking boxes of possibly classified materials that Trump took with him after leaving office. One journalist this week posted photos of shredded documents in a toilet in Trump's White House.
For nearly a year, Trump had delayed handing the documents over to the National Archives, who eventually referred the case to the Justice Department.
In order to obtain the search warrant, the FBI first had to convince a judge that there was probable cause to believe a crime had been committed, and that evidence might be found at Mar-a-Lago.