All Eyes on FBI Chief Wray in Wake of Memo's Release

White House aides were nervous he would quit, though his allies doubt he will
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2018 11:39 AM CST
FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony on Dec. 15, 2017, in Quantico, Va.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – The controversial memo released Friday has put one key player "in a bind," as Politico puts it. That would be FBI Director Christopher Wray, who will have 35,000 FBI employees watching his reaction after the memo on alleged surveillance abuses was revealed to the public despite his warnings. While Wray hasn't tipped his hand on his next move, insiders note his frustration at being chosen by Trump as a "man of impeccable credentials," then ignored and portrayed as politicizing the Russia investigation, per CNN. Before the release, sources told CNN that White House aides were nervous Wray would resign if the memo were released, though White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News Friday that Trump isn't worried that will happen, per Politico.

It's a move many ex-colleagues also don't anticipate. "He'll tough this one out," a former DOJ co-worker tells Politico, adding, "He has great fidelity to the DOJ in general and the FBI in particular, and he will understand his leadership is needed." Others don't think the memo release would even be a big enough deal in Wray's mind to result in his leaving. One big name going to bat for FBI leadership, ostensibly including Wray: former FBI chief James Comey, who tweeted Thursday that "all should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would." (Comey also had something to say on "weasels and liars.") Even though Wray's working style isn't seen as being especially combative, Wray is said to now be in "raising hell" mode. "I think Chris Wray's motto is speak softly but carry a big stick," an FBI source tells CNN. (Read more Christopher Wray stories.)

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