President Donald Trump took a swipe at FBI Director Christopher Wray in an interview on Thursday, saying that the FBI chief has not been as forthcoming as he would like with documents related to the Trump-Russia probe.
“I wish he was more forthcoming, he certainly hasn’t been,” Trump told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “There are documents that they want to get, and we have said we want to get. We’re going to find out if he’s going to give those documents. But certainly he’s been very, very protective.”
Trump’s remarks comes as congressional Republicans have ramped up public allegations that Wray has withheld documents related to the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
Last week, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson subpoenaed Wray for all documents related to Crossfire Hurricane, the name of the FBI’s counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign.
The investigation began on July 31, 2016 and was folded into the special counsel’s probe, which started before Wray took office.
On Monday, Sen. Lindsey Graham called on Wray to explain a Feb. 14, 2018 memo regarding an FBI briefing provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the primary source for Christopher Steele, the British spy whose dossier the FBI used to obtain surveillance orders against Carter Page.
The briefing memo did not disclose that Steele’s source, Igor Danchenko, disputed some of the key allegations in the dossier.
Georgia Rep. Doug Collins called on Wray to resign on Wednesday for failing to disclose Trump-Russia documents.
“I’ve reached my limit with Director Wray,” Collins said on Fox News. “It’s time for him to resign. It’s time for him to move on. Let’s let other people take the reins here.”
“Either he was willfully not knowing what was going on, he was intentionally misleading the Senate, or there was actually a cover up going on.”
Wray has reportedly opposed White House and congressional efforts to declassify various documents related to the dossier, FBI sources, and Crossfire Hurricane. Bloomberg reported in January 2018 that Wray opposed the declassification and release of a memo from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee that alleged that the FBI misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court regarding the dossier.
The memo was largely vindicated by a Justice Department inspector general’s report released on Dec. 9, 2019 that said the FBI made 17 “significant” errors and omissions in applications submitted to the FISC to surveil Carter Page.
Trump downplayed his role in selecting Wray for the FBI position, telling Bartiromo that “he was chosen by a certain person, and I said, go ahead, put whoever you want.”
“I’m so honest that I said you could put anybody you want. Let’s see how Wray turns out. He’s either going to turn out one way or the other.”
“Bill Barr has a chance to be the greatest of all time. But if he wants to be politically correct, he’ll be just another guy.”