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WH press secretary: Pres. Biden will keep Christopher Wray as FBI director

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Christopher Wray FBI director

White house press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Thursday that President Joe Biden will keep Christopher Wray as director of the FBI and that he has confidence in Wray after she declined to say Wednesday if the new president intended to keep him in the role and if he had confidence in Wray.

“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,” Psaki tweeted Thursday afternoon.

When asked at a Wednesday evening press briefing if Wray would stay at the top of the FBI, White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to answer. She also did not provide a direct answer to the question of if Biden has confidence in Wray. That evening, she told reporters she had not spoken with Biden about Wray specifically “in recent days.”

Her Wednesday evening comments spurred a flurry of reports from multiple outlets early on Thursday, with a variety sources telling them that Biden will keep Wray as FBI director.

Back in December, The New York Times had reported that Biden planned to keep Wray in the role.

Currently, the FBI is investigating the deadly January 6 riot at the Capitol. Over 100 people so far have received federal charges and dozens have been arrested in connection to the storming of the U.S. Capitol the same day Congress tallied the Electoral College votes and certified Biden’s victory, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. This past week, a Justice Department official said that there are over 300 open FBI investigations.

MORE ON THE CAPITOL RIOT: Prosecutors: ‘strong evidence’ shows Capitol rioters sought to ‘capture and assassinate’ officials

Wray was nominated to the role of FBI director in June 2017 after then-President Donald Trump the previous month had fired former FBI Director James Comey, who had been spearheading investigations into now-debunked links between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. FBI directors serve 10-year terms.

Trump’s firing of Comey resulted in Robert Mueller being appointed as special counsel.

Wray broke with the former president early on in his tenure. In July 2017, Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he did not believe Mueller’s probe was a “witch hunt,” in contradiction to what Trump had routinely alleged.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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