FBI chief says bureau won't stop 'finding out what happened' to ex-agent

FBI chief says bureau won't stop 'finding out what happened' to ex-agent
© Levinson Family

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) chief sent an email to employees Thursday saying the agency will not stop “finding out what happened” to former FBI agent Robert Levinson, whose family announced his death on Wednesday. 

Levinson disappeared in Iran in 2007 while on an unsanctioned CIA intelligence-gathering mission.

In the email obtained by The Associated Press, FBI Director Chris Wray said he “explained that the most credible evidence we have collected over the past 13 years points to the likelihood that Bob died in captivity.”

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“It pained me to deliver that news, but I believe that we owed Bob’s family a thorough and candid presentation of the information that we’ve collected,” Wray added.

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Ocasio-Cortez: Trump contributed less in taxes 'than waitresses and undocumented immigrants' Third judge orders Postal Service to halt delivery cuts MORE, when asked about the update on Levinson’s status during a Wednesday briefing on the coronavirus, told reporters that the situation was “not looking good.” But the president refused to accept that Levinson had died, despite the finality of his family’s statement.

“No, I don’t accept that he’s dead,” Trump said. “It’s not looking great, but I won’t accept that he’s dead.”

Trump praised Levinson as a “great gentleman,” saying he had been “very much involved” in his case.

Levinson is believed to be the longest-held American hostage, though Tehran has never acknowledged holding him in captivity. 

In a statement, Levinson's family said that "those responsible for what happened to Bob Levinson, including those in the U.S. government who for many years left him behind, will ultimately receive justice for what they have done."