Trump blasts FBI director Wray for backing IG report that 2016 campaign probe was justified

"With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI," the president tweeted.
Image: FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies to the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about "worldwide threats" on Capitol Hill in Washington
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about "worldwide threats" on Jan. 29.Joshua Roberts / Reuters file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Allan Smith

President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted his "current" FBI Director Christopher Wray — whom the president appointed — after the bureau head accepted the key finding of the Justice Department inspector general's report into the origins of the investigation into Trump's campaign and Russia.

That report, by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, found that the opening of the probe into Trump's 2016 campaign officials was not politically motivated — countering Trump's allegation that it was a "witch hunt." The report, however, did find that FBI agents made numerous missteps in the course of that investigation.

"I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn't the one given to me," tweeted Trump, who appointed Wray in 2017 after the president fired then-FBI Director James Comey. "With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!"

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

In a letter Monday to Horowitz, Wray wrote that the FBI "accepts the Report's findings and embraces the need for thoughtful, meaningful remedial action." Wray added that he "ordered more than 40 corrective steps to address the report's recommendations."

Speaking with ABC News, Wray said he has no evidence that the FBI unfairly targeted Trump's campaign. He also pushed back on the theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election — a point that Republicans have increasingly pushed in recent weeks.

Horowitz's report concluded the FBI and the Justice Department launched the investigation into Trump not because of politics but because there was sufficient evidence the Russian government was using go-betweens to reach out to the Trump campaign as part of its efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

Immediately after the report's release, Attorney General William Barr pushed back on that finding, as did U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham, who is leading a separate review of the Russia probe.

Barr said that the probe was launched "on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken." Barr, however, added he had "full confidence" in Wray. Durham, meanwhile, said he has evidence that leads him to disagree with some of Horowitz's conclusions.

Speaking to reporters in the White House, Trump seemed to ignore Horowitz's top-line finding, saying the report actually showed an "attempted overthrow" of the government "far worse than I ever thought possible."

In an interview with MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace on Monday, Comey said the Horowitz report showed Trump's allegations that the probe of his campaign was politically motivated were "all made up."

"Two years of sitting silently at the FBI while you’re lied about, and finally the truth is out,” Comey said, adding that the president "is never going to be able to use the FBI as a political instrument, which is why he continues to try to burn it down."