FBI Director Christopher Wray defended his agency Thursday in his first public appearance since President Donald Trump said the bureau is “in tatters.”
Wray told the House Judiciary Committee his agents work hard “protecting the American people and upholding the rule of law in all 50 states and in about 80 countries around the world.”
“Let me start by saying that it is for me the honor of a lifetime to be here representing the men and women of the FBI,” he said. “There is no finer institution than the FBI and no finer people than the men and women who work there and are its very beating heart.”
When asked about Trump’s tweets over the weekend criticizing the FBI, Wray told Rep. Jerry Nadler, “there is no shortage of opinions out there.”
More from the BBC:
FBI Director Christopher Wray was the man testifying before the committee on Thursday morning, but – at least for the Republican congressmen present – it was special counsel Robert Mueller in the spotlight.
In particular, the Republicans honed in on a former member of Mr Mueller’s team, Peter Strzok, a top FBI counterintelligence officer removed from the investigation this summer after the agency discovered he had written negative text messages about Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The strategy is clear – to raise doubts about the impartiality of Mr Mueller’s investigation. The president’s supporters for months have been pointing to perceived Democratic leanings of some of the investigative team, including a handful of donations made to Democratic candidates.
NEW: FBI Director Chris Wray responds to Pres. Trump’s claim that bureau’s reputation is in “tatters”: “The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of brave men and women…decent people committed to the highest principles of integrity and professionalism.” pic.twitter.com/e7hb6GjK2u
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 7, 2017