Trump hits FBI Director Wray: ‘I wish he was more forthcoming’
President Trump on Thursday distanced himself from FBI Director Christopher Wray, lamenting that he has not been “forthcoming” as he levied exaggerated attacks on the bureau and other law enforcement officials over the Russia investigation.
Trump did not directly answer a question from Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo about whether Wray was hiding information about the Russia probe and if he should step down, instead blaming an unnamed administration official for putting him in charge — even though Trump appointed Wray to the job in 2017.
“So, Christopher Wray was put there. We have an election coming up,” Trump said. “I wish he was more forthcoming. He certainly hasn’t been. There are documents they want to get and that we have said we want to get. We’re going to find out if he’s going to give those documents.”
“He’s been very, very protective. He was put there for good reason,” Trump continued. “He was chosen by a certain person, and I said go ahead put whoever you want. I’m so honest that I said you can put anybody you want. Let’s see how Wray turns out. He’s going to either turn out one way or the other.”
The president appeared to be referring to documents sought by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, who is subpoenaing the FBI as part of his probe into the Russia investigation.
Democrats have expressed concerns that Johnson’s investigation is aimed at meddling in the 2020 presidential election and could spread Russian disinformation.
The FBI has been one of Trump’s most consistent punching bags since he took office, and he has continued to blast the agency over the Russia investigation more than a year after former special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation.
The president regularly targets former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page on Twitter and in interviews.
The origins of the Russia probe are separately being investigated by the Department of Justice, and Trump on Thursday appeared to urge Attorney General William Barr to act aggressively once that probe has concluded.
“I hope the’re not going to be politically correct and say, ‘let’s get the lower guys that forged the documents going into FISA. Let’s just get a couple of the lower guys,’ ” Trump said. “Bill Barr can go down as the greatest attorney general in the history of our country, or he can down as just an average guy. It depends on what’s going to happen.”