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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 TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE after former Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyThree reasons Mueller may not charge Trump with obstruction Clinton's security clearance withdrawn at her request Rod Rosenstein must recuse himself MORE was fired, encouraged employees to “keep doing your great work and keep being the great people you are.”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 NunesThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — Latest on Hurricane Michael | Trump, Kanye West to have lunch at White House | GOP divided over potential 2020 high court vacancy Senate Dem: Trump's 'fake, hyperbolic rantings' an insult to real Medal of Honor recipients Trump: Nunes should receive Medal of Honor 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.