By Duncan Smith
President Donald Trump would not say whether FBI Director Christopher Wray’s future was secure during comments Friday following the Justice Department’s decision to drop its case against his short-lived national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“Let’s see what happens with him,” the president told “Fox & Friends,” adding that “the jury’s still out.”
Trump added that he’ll leave the decision up to Attorney General William Barr, who reportedly signed off on the recommendation to drop Flynn’s case after being shown compelling evidence this month the retired three-star general was set up by the Obama administration.
“You know, I told Bill Barr, you handle it,” the president said regarding Wray. “I would be absolutely entitled in theory, as the chief law enforcement officer, in theory. But I said, ‘You know what, I want Bill Barr to handle it,” adding that the attorney general “has done an unbelievable job.”
The president’s comments come a day after Barr appeared to defend Wray, though he noted both men needed to “step up” following the Flynn case.
“You know, he’s been a great partner to me in our effort to restore the American people’s confidence in both the Department of Justice and the FBI,” Barr said Thursday, according to the Washington Examiner. “And we work very well together. And I think both of us know that we have to step up. That it’s very important to restore the American people’s confidence.”
Barr also said he still believes Wray can do the job.
“Well, you know, Chris Wray has always supported and been very helpful in various investigations we’ve been running,” Barr told CBS. “But, you know, there are a lot of cases in the Department of Justice, and I don’t consider it the director’s responsibility to make sure that all the documents are produced in each case. So I don’t — I wouldn’t say that this has affected my confidence in Director Wray.”
Republicans have questioned why Wray, who took over the job after Trump fired the man who helped set up Flynn, James Comey, had not come forth with information about the national security adviser’s case before now.
“It is well past time that you show the leadership necessary to bring the FBI past the abuses of the Obama-Biden era,” Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mike Johnson of Louisiana wrote in a letter earlier this week to the FBI director.