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Wray says FBI not systemically racist

Wray says FBI not systemically racist

FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress on Tuesday that he doesn't believe the bureau is systemically racist, and vowed to make more strides in diversifying its personnel and leadership.

While testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wray was asked by Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) whether he believed the FBI is a "systemically racist institution."

"No, but having said that I do believe the FBI has to be more diverse and more inclusive than it is, and that we need to work a lot harder at that and we're trying to work a lot harder at that," Wray responded.

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He also told Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerBass 'hopeful' on passing police reform: 'Republicans that I am working with are operating in good faith' Progressive lawmakers press DHS chief on immigration detention Democrats battle over best path for Puerto Rico MORE (D-N.J.) that he is "cautiously optimistic" about the FBI's efforts to recruit and hire people of color to the bureau's ranks, saying that each incoming class of special agentsĀ is increasingly diverse.

The FBI has been accused of using its broad law enforcement powers against minorities throughout its history, from investigating civil rights leaders in the mid-20th century to unjustly targeting Muslim Americans in the years following September 11, 2001.

Wray's predecessor, James ComeyJames Brien ComeyShowtime developing limited series about Jan. 6 Capitol riot Wray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges MORE, who was fired by former President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict MORE in 2017, had publicly acknowledged the FBI's sordid history and encouraged its officials to study it.

In a 2016 speech, Comey said that he kept a copy of the 1963 memo signed by J. Edgar Hoover and Robert F. Kennedy authorizing indefinite FBI surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr.

"I keep it there in that spot to remind me of what we in the FBI are responsible for and what we as humans are capable of, and why it is vital that power be overseen, be constrained, be checked," Comey said.