He’s President Trump’s pick, but he’s devoted to the bureau he’s been assigned to lead, apparently.
CNN is reporting that some White House aides are expressing concern that FBI Director Christopher Wray could potentially follow former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe out the door, if President Trump goes forward with an unsubstantiated memo pieced together by a highly partisan Rep. Devin Nunes.
Earlier today it was announced that Trump would likely release the memo on Friday.
Wray has made clear he is frustrated that President Donald Trump picked him to lead the FBI after he fired FBI Director James Comey in May, yet his advice on the Nunes memo is being disregarded and cast as part of the purported partisan leadership of the FBI, according to a senior law enforcement official.
Wray’s stance is “raising hell,” one source familiar with the matter said.
Wray has not directly threatened to resign after clashing with Trump over the possible release of the memo, the source added, because that is not his style of dealing with conflict.
The director penned a letter on Wednesday, expressing “grave concerns” over details of accuracy within the memo.
There’s also concern for national security, as raised by officials with both the Justice Department and the FBI.
The White House had, at one time, suggested that perhaps redacting the names within the memo could solve the issues that are putting the administration at odds against both the DOJ and FBI. Traditionally, NOT a healthy thing for the republic.
Redactions, however, won’t solve those omissions that Wray and other officials believe make the memo factually inaccurate.
Wray hasn’t threatened to resign, outright, but even White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has shown some concern over losing another high profile official, so close behind others.
“I think Chris Wray’s motto is speak softly but carry a big stick,” said one person inside the FBI. “One-point Chris Wray, zero points Devin Nunes.”
There is a recognition, however, that Wray leaving could set off a chain reaction of events inside the law enforcement agency. Top officials inside the bureau have been trying to identify who might be considered a “Trump guy” in the order of succession in the bureau’s organizational chart, another law enforcement official said.
It probably won’t be Wray’s now-deputy David Bowdich. He’s known as a straight shooter, not steeped in the D.C. culture.
Meanwhile, the FBI Agents Association released a statement earlier on Thursday in appreciation of Director Wray, thanking him for standing with an organization that has been battered in recent months from the top.
Statement from the FBI Agents Association voicing support for FBI Director Chris Wray in the wake of Nunes memo controversy:
"The FBI Agents Association appreciates FBI Director Chris Wray standing shoulder to shoulder with the men and women of the FBI" pic.twitter.com/eJc4J8TQr4
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) February 1, 2018
The latest is that Trump is saying he’ll release the Nunes memo as is – no corrections, no redactions.
When and if that happens, the ball is in Wray’s court.