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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50-Foot Christmas Tree Outside Fox News Set on Fire by 49yr Old Homeless Man
Just before 12:15 am Wednesday morning, an arsonist set fire to the 50-foot tree in front of Fox News’ Midtown headquarters on 6th avenue. The suspect, a 49-year-old with three prior arrests, was quickly caught and taken into custody.
The man has two previous arrests for drug possession and one for public intoxication. The motive is unclear, and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said detectives are looking into whether mental illness was a factor.
“The suspect is identified as 49-year-old Craig Tamanaha, who is homeless, with a last known address in Brooklyn” reports ABC 7 New York. Police said the suspect climbed up “the metal superstructure” underneath the artificial tree and lit papers he had brought with him on fire, then shoved the papers into the tree structure.
He then climbed down and watched from the street level as it burned, and he was spotted by building security who pointed the man out to police officers posted in nearby Rockefeller Center,” reports ABC.
A lighter was found in his possession, and he has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, endangering others, criminal trespass, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct.
Fox says it will rebuild the tree, which took more than 21 hours to assemble and consisted of 10,000 glass ornaments and 100,000 lights.
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