President Joe Biden will keep Christopher Wray on as FBI director, a White House official told NBC News on Thursday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki prompted some raised eyebrows in law enforcement and intelligence circles on Wednesday when she declined to say in a news briefing whether Biden had confidence in Wray.
The inspectors general of the Justice Department and other federal agencies are reviewing how the FBI, Pentagon and other law enforcement agencies prepared for security at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, when rioters stormed in and disrupted the electoral vote count. The FBI is leading an investigation intothe attack.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz said last week that he will look at the kind of threat information available beforehand and how widely it was shared with U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies.
Wray, who has more than six years left in his 10-year term, had no indication that Biden or his team was dissatisfied with him, a senior FBI official said Wednesday night, adding that “the sentiments shared have all been positive.”
Some influential voices have been critical of the FBI’s response to the riot, however. David Lauffman, a senior Justice Department official during the Obama administration, said the FBI is supposed to thwart domestic terrorism, and “it’s not clear if FBI exercised the urgent, national leadership necessary to maximize protection of the Capitol.”
Wray and those around him had previously been concerned he could be fired by former President Donald Trump, who had publicly pressured him to take actions on certain investigations — such as announcing a probe into Biden’s son Hunter Biden — and then expressed frustration that Wray did not followed his suggestions.