Wray tells FBI agents ‘talk is cheap’ after memo release

FBI Director Christopher Wray sent a message to agency employees following the release of a previously classified memo alleging abuse of government surveillance powers by the Justice Department, calling on employees to “keep calm and tackle hard.”

“The American people read the papers, and they hear lots of talk on cable TV and social media,” Wray wrote in the message, which was obtained by BBC. “But they see and experience the actual work you do — keeping communities safe and our nation secure, often dealing with sensitive matters and making decisions under difficult circumstances. And that work will always matter more.”

"Talk is cheap; the work you do is what will endure," he continued. 

Wray strongly opposed the release of the memo on Friday, and White House aides reportedly worried he would quit if it was released despite his objections. 

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Wray told FBI employees that they “speak through our work” and stay “laser-focused … even when it’s not easy, because we believe in the FBI.”

“We believe in what it stands for and in what this institution means to people,” he wrote. “And nothing is going to change that.”

The FBI director, appointed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE after former Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyHannity invites Ocasio-Cortez to join prime-time show for full hour The Hill's 12:30 Report: Acosta under fire over Epstein plea deal White House repeatedly blocks ex-aide from answering Judiciary panel questions MORE was fired, encouraged employees to “keep doing your great work and keep being the great people you are.”

“I consider it an incredible privilege to work beside you — and that I’m determined to defend your integrity and professionalism every day," he wrote. “Remember: keep calm and tackle hard.”

Wray’s message follows the release of a memo, written for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocrats' opposition research got exposed — this time, not by the Russians GOP consultant sued by Nunes asks for help paying legal costs Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data MORE (R-Calif.) by his staff, which accuses senior Justice Department officials of improperly using information from the so-called Steele dossier to obtain surveillance warrants on a member of the Trump transition team.

Read the full memo here.

Trump announced Friday he approved the release of the memo, calling its revelations disgraceful.

“I think it’s a disgrace,” Trump said. "A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves."

The White House made no redactions to the document, despite reported requests from law enforcement officials.

Trump approved the release of the controversial document despite objections from top officials at the FBI and Justice Department, who said the memo contained misleading, incomplete and erroneous information.

On Wednesday, the FBI issued a rare public statement warning against the expected release of the memo, saying it has “grave concerns” about its contents.

The FBI Agents Association on Thursday release a statement of support for Wray after he reportedly warned the White House against releasing the document.