President Trump Slamming Christopher Wray Shows He Knows Wray Is Part of the Problem Not Part of the Solution

President Donald Trump sits with FBI Director Christopher Wray during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, in Quantico, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)



Without getting into the details here, and there will be ample time for that later, the report issued yesterday by Department of Justice Michael Horowitz painted a very unflattering picture of an FBI that was willing to lie and to freelance with Department of Justice oversight in order to carry out what it considered to be its mission of proving, despite the total lack of evidence, that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia. The way the FISA system was abused and the total lack of candor shown by the FBI in dealing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court–and the total lack of interest by the judges on that court to question the crap the FBI was feeding them–should shock our sensibilities and scare the freakin bejeezus out of us.

Unfortunately, the guy who will be charged with fixing the problem, FBI Director Christopher Wray, doesn’t seem like he quite grasps the scope of the problem or its seriousness. This is an ABC News interview he gave yesterday:

In an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News, Wray lamented “actions described in this report that [he] considered unacceptable and unrepresentative of who we are as an institution.” But, he said it was “important that the inspector general found that, in this particular instance, the investigation was opened with appropriate predication and authorization.”


When confronted with this tweet by President Trump from last year:

Wray did not respond directly to the president, but pushed back on the “Deep State” characterization of the bureau’s work.

“I think that’s the kind of label that’s a disservice to the men and women who work at the FBI who I think tackle their jobs with professionalism, with rigor, with objectivity, with courage,” Wray said. “So that’s not a term I would ever use to describe our work force and I think it’s an affront to them.”

…Wray has previously said “spying” is “not a term I would use,” and on Monday reiterated that point.

“Again, different people have different colloquial terms,” he said, ” but we use terms like ‘investigation’ and ‘surveillance.'”

President Trump was not terribly pleased by the performance.


I think President Trump is completely correct. Anyone taking over a large bureaucracy has a very short period of time to make significant changes because they are subject to being “captured” by the organization. They develop friendships. They begin to adopt the way of thinking and operating that characterize the agency. It is what an old boss of mine referred to as “The Little Town in Georgia Syndrome.” When you first move that little town you are aghast at the place, the people, and the things that are going on. But, after a while, it starts to look good and if you’re there long enough you love it. The reforms Wray lays out in his response to the IG report should have been undertaken within just a few weeks after he took charge. The problems were readily apparent. The only reason to not have done them is because Wray was probably convinced that an extensive revamping of the FISA system would be viewed as a hostile act by Comey holdovers and make his job harder. He was also probably convinced that if he just kept a low profile this would all pass by him.

The FBI is a broken organization that is operating as a law unto itself. It doesn’t require a few adjustments around the edges, it needs a serious restructuring and personnel purge. Wray is not the guy to do this. The open question is whether President Trump thinks fixing the FBI is important enough to endure the pain of firing and replacing another FBI director.



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