President Joe Biden has confidence in FBI Director Christopher Wray and plans to keep him in his role, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday.
Psaki raised some eyebrows in law enforcement and intelligence circles Wednesday when she declined to say at a news briefing whether Biden had confidence in Wray.
In a tweet Thursday, Psaki clarified that because her response had "caused an unintentional ripple," she "wanted to state very clearly" that Biden intends to keep Wray in the job.
The inspectors general of the Justice Department and other federal agencies are reviewing how the FBI, the Defense Department and other agencies prepared for security at the U.S. Capitol this month, when rioters stormed in and disrupted the electoral vote count. The FBI is leading an investigation.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz said last week that he will look at threat information that was available beforehand and how widely it was shared with U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies.
Wray, who has more than six years left in his 10-year term, had no indication that Biden or his team was dissatisfied with him, a senior FBI official said Wednesday night, adding that "the sentiments shared have all been positive."
Some influential voices have criticized the FBI's response to the riot. David Lauffman, a senior Justice Department official during the Obama administration, said that the FBI is supposed to thwart domestic terrorism and that "it's not clear if FBI exercised the urgent, national leadership necessary to maximize protection of the Capitol."
Wray and those around him had been concerned that he could be fired by former President Donald Trump, who publicly pressured him to take actions on certain investigations — such as announcing an inquiry into Biden's son Hunter — and then expressed frustration that Wray did not follow his suggestions.
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Hunter Biden said in December that federal officials in Delaware were investigating his taxes; a source familiar with the inquiry said it involved his business dealings in China. The office of the U.S. attorney for Delaware declined to comment on the investigation.
The Biden campaign also declined to comment at the time the investigation was revealed. Hunter Biden was a target of relentless attacks during the campaign from Trump and his allies, who alleged that he used his father's influence to enrich himself through business deals in Ukraine and China.
The dealings drew scrutiny throughout the campaign, but no evidence has emerged to show that he or his father engaged in any wrongdoing. He pledged during the campaign that he would not work for any foreign-owned companies if his father won the presidency.