President Biden has no plans to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray, according to CNN and NBC on Thursday. The President indicated during his transition that he would keep Wray in his position, but with the caveat that then-President Trump didn’t get around to firing Wray first.
Last month, the New York Times reported that a senior adviser to Biden said there were no plans to remove Wray when the incoming administration is ushered in. The Biden adviser, however, told the Times that Biden’s team was “not removing the FBI director unless Trump fired him.”
Biden following through on keeping the FBI leader around during his presidency is not unexpected.
Although Wray had been rumored to be one of the first heads on Trump’s post-election chopping block after the FBI director refuted Trump’s bogus voter fraud claims and acknowledged that far-right white nationalist-motivated violence is a national security threat to the country, Senate-confirmed FBI directors are rarely fired and are generally serve out their 10-year terms.
Trump appointed Wray, a Republican who served during President George W. Bush’s presidency, in 2017 following the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, who was appointed by President Barack Obama.
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not indicate whether Biden has confidence in Wray when asked during her first briefing of the Biden administration.
“I have not spoken with him about specifically FBI Director Wray in recent days, but I’ll circle back if there’s more to convey,” Psaki said on Wednesday.
According to CNN, an official said that Psaki simply hadn’t had a conversation about Wray with Biden. The official told CNN that if asked about Wray on Thursday, Psaki will likely indicate Biden’s confidence in the FBI director.
The next day, Psaki addressed the “unintentional ripple” she supposedly caused in a tweet confirming that Biden intends to keep Wray around.
I caused an unintentional ripple yesterday so wanted to state very clearly President Biden intends to keep FBI Director Wray on in his role and he has confidence in the job he is doing.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) January 21, 2021
During an FEMA briefing earlier this month, Wray said that investigators have identified more than 200 suspects in their investigation of the Capitol riots and that more than 100 individuals have been arrested.
“We know who you are if you’re out there, and FBI agents are coming to find you,” Wray said.