Is President Donald Trump planning to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray?
Following Wray’s less than stellar performance this week in a Congressional hearing, rumors have begun to swirl that Trump is looking at replacing Wray after the election. One of the individuals being considered as his replacement is lawyer Sidney Powell, who is currently representing former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, according to a Newsmax reporter.
President Trump was displeased by Wray’s testimony this week in which he appeared to overhype the election interference threat from Russia while downplaying the arguably greater threat posed by China. Wray also seemed to downplay the threat posed by Antifa and similarly-aligned anarchist groups that have been involved in riots over the summer.
Trump unhappy with Wray
On Friday, Newsmax White House correspondent Emerald Robinson tweeted, “BREAKING: The White House is preparing a shortlist of candidates to replace Christopher Wray as FBI Director.”
A short time later in the day, as President Trump prepared to head to Minnesota for a rally, he was asked directly by reporters if he intended to replace Wray or had lost confidence in him, a question the president sidestepped, though he once again signaled his disapproval of some of the things said by the FBI director.
Trump noted that he disagreed with Wray’s threat assessments. “Obviously, China is at the top of the list,” Trump said, adding, “obviously, Antifa — these are thugs. These are bad people. These are people that hurt a lot of people — a lot of good people.”
“The fact is that Antifa is a bad group, and they’re criminals and they’re anarchists and they’re agitators, and they’re looters and rioters and everything else. They’re bad,” he added. “And when a man doesn’t say that, that bothers me. I wonder why he’s not saying that.”
Later, pressed again for clarification on if he wanted to replace Wray, Trump replied, “No, we’re looking at a lot of different things. And I don’t — I did not like his answers yesterday, and I’m not sure he liked them either. I’m sure that he probably would agree with me.”
“Antifa is bad — really bad. And if you look at it — who’s the big problem? The big problem is China. And we can have others also, and I’m not excluding anybody, but the big problem is China. And why he doesn’t want to say that, that certainly bothers me,” he added.
“Honored to be considered”
Appearing on Newsmax Friday evening, Robinson stuck by her reporting that the White House was “formulating a list of replacements right now” for Wray. The list had reportedly been in the works for months but was being delayed until after the election, and floated the name of Powell as being on that shortlist.
Powell had already been scheduled to appear on the same program and was asked about allegedly being on Trump’s shortlist to replace Wray. She insisted that she hadn’t been contacted by anyone at the White House but acknowledged that she’d seen rumors on social media and said, “I am honored to be considered for it.”
“I can only imagine the number of people in Washington, and elsewhere, that would need laundry service upon that announcement,” she joked.