The White House confirmed on Jan. 21 that President Joe Biden will retain FBI Director Christopher Wray in his administration.
“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,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki wrote on Twitter.
The “ripple” Psaki referred to was caused by her answer to a reporter at a White House press briefing on Jan. 20 asking her if Biden has confidence in Wray, to which Psaki said she hadn’t spoken to Biden about his views on the FBI director.
“I think I have not spoken with him about specifically FBI Director Wray in recent days, Peter, but I’ll circle back with you if there’s more to convey.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a Jan. 21 statement that he’s pleased Biden will retain Wray as FBI director.
“Christopher Wray became FBI Director at a moment of tremendous turmoil for the Bureau and the country, and he has served with great professionalism and integrity,” Schiff said. “I am glad to see that President Biden intends to keep Director Wray in his position, and restore the ten-year terms for FBI Directors.”
Wray is leading the federal investigation of the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol and potential follow-up protests in Washington and around the country. In light of FBI intelligence that there might have been more protests, the U.S. Capitol had around 25,000 National Guardsmen deployed before the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration.
At a Jan. 15 press briefing about inauguration security, Wray said, “In that vein, we and our partners have already arrested more than 100 individuals for their criminal activities in last week’s siege of the Capitol and continue to pursue countless other related investigations.”
Wray was praised by Psaki and Schiff for his effort to investigate which security loopholes allowed for the breach on Jan. 6.
“I look forward to our continuing work with Director Wray, as we analyze the intelligence and security failures that led to the January 6th assault on the Capitol, and the need to dramatically expand the focus and resources devoted to the threat of domestic terrorism,” Schiff said.
Wray became the eighth director of the FBI in August 2017. He began his law enforcement career in 1997 with the Department of Justice in the state of Georgia.