If it wasn’t already well-known through his reality television shows and character, it has become fairly clear for American citizens in the last year that Donald Trump loves to fire people. In doing so, the president has seemingly brought his popular catch phrase, “You’re fired!” into public office, thinking that the rules that apply to business owners can be transferred over to the post of president. He has come to realize, however, that firing someone in a government agency is not as popular as it is in the business world, and that controversy follows close behind each time he chooses to remove an individual.
One focus that Trump has clearly targeted is that of influencing and controlling the Justice Department as much as possible, likely due to the increasing progress made by special counsel Mueller’s Russia investigation. Specifically, Trump has been meddling immensely in the processes of the FBI, as certain protocols and issues of safety and security have taken priority over the president’s wants. With the uproar over the firing of James Comey, and the recent and sudden departure of Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, it seems that anybody who stands for legitimacy and accuracy is being caught in the president’s crossfire.
Most recently, Comey’s replacement in the FBI, Christopher Wray, is coming under criticism by the president, as the agency published a statement Wednesday, citing accuracy concerns about the forthcoming release of an allegedly controversial GOP memo. The memo itself, produced by Representative Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) office, is said to provide details about the FBI’s misuse and abuse of surveillance under the Obama administration.
According to a Washington Post report citing the FBI’s statement,
‘With regard to the House Intelligence Committee’s memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.’
I agree with @FBI Director Christopher Wray (who is a Republican), that the #NunesMemo contains factual inaccuracies and paints a false narrative. That's why the Democratic memo–which cites actual underlying docs–must be released. #WednesdayWisdom https://t.co/ukVavvYJrX
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 31, 2018
BREAKING: According to Bloomberg, FBI Director Christopher Wray informed the White House of his opposition to releasing the classified GOP memo alleging bias at the FBI and Justice Department because it contains INACCURATE information & paints a FALSE narrative!
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) January 31, 2018
Wray, who has attempted to refrain from ruffling the president’s feathers, had previously advised the White House against releasing the memo. However, with Trump and the GOP remaining steadfast in declassifying it, and likely to reject Wray’s suggestion, the FBI published the statement that calls into question the factual context of Nunes’s memo. Due to the fact that some pertinent information may have been disregarded in drafting the document, the FBI is expressing their concerns about the potential damage it would cause by failing to provide the bigger picture.
“As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy," said Christopher A. Wray, the FBI director, in a statement. https://t.co/NhlpePT0uj
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 31, 2018
Earlier this week, the House Intelligence Committee voted in favor of releasing the memo, regardless of the recklessness and dangers that the Justice Department warned them about. With the FBI and White House now at such vehement odds with one another, something that in and of itself is unusual, the showdown between the two has placed Wray directly in the line of fire. In the same way that his predecessor, James Comey, decided to stand against the aggressive influence of the current administration, it is likely that Wray will have to make a similarly difficult decision in the coming days.
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