Then-President Donald Trump was on the edge of ousting FBI Director Christopher Wray to install people he considered to be loyal to him in April 2020, according to Politico.
The former president had “always flirted with the idea” of firing Wray, one ex-Trump official told Politico, which buttresses multiple reports of Trump mulling the FBI director’s ouster for contradicting MAGAland’s bogus “deep state” and voter fraud conspiracy theories.
But Trump’s desire to do so “was intense as it ever was” that spring for reasons that are unclear, according to another former official.
He reportedly planned to fire Wray and replace him with National Counterintelligence and Security Center director William Evanina. Then Kash Patel, Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) former staffer who crafted the House GOP’s memo attacking the Mueller probe, would be appointed as FBI deputy director. This was to make sure the agency included “trusted people,” one ex-official told Politico.
However, the White House scuttled the plan when then-Attorney General Bill Barr told White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and chief of staff Mark Meadows that he would quit if those personnel changes were made at the FBI without his approval, according to Politico.
The White House had been “hoping” Wray’s firing “would be a fait accompli,” a former official reportedly said.
Axios reported in October that Trump had put the FBI director on the chopping block in the event that he won reelection in the 2020 race.
However, Trump ultimately lost the race to Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who has kept Wray in his post.