FBI Director Defends Agency Against Trump Twitter Attack

Robert Mueller

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images Robert Mueller

A former top counterintelligence expert at the FBI, now at the center of a political uproar for exchanging private messages that appeared to mock President Donald Trump, changed a key phrase in former FBI Director James Comey's description of how former secretary of state Hillary Clinton handled classified information, according to USA officials familiar with the matter.

Also, he said, FBI agent Peter Strzok, who ran the Clinton investigation, wrote the FBI's exoneration letter about Clinton, and changed its language from "gross negligence to extreme carelessness".

Trump tweeted last weekend the FBI's reputation is "in Tatters _ worst in History!" and urged Wray to "clean house".

It was revealed this week that Strzok was dismissed this summer from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into alleged collaboration between Trump and Russian Federation for sending "anti-Trump text messages".

Trump and Republicans appear to be building such a case to undermine the Mueller probe, which has already unleashed charges against four former Trump aides and increasingly menaces the White House and Trump's family. "If he were to conclude that's what happened, then I think at that point we're in a situation where we have to assess what else might need to be done to unring that bell".

"If you kicked everybody off Mueller's team who was anti-Trump, I don't think there'd be anybody left", Jordan said.

Weissmann has also given thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, including Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2006.

The senior Democrat on the committee, Rep.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked Wray about the FBI's possible use of the Trump-Russia dossier, also known as the Steele dossier, named after its author ex-British spy Christopher Steele.

The CNN host played a clip of Trump praising former FBI director James Comey over the bureau's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.

In Thursday's hearing, Democrats sought to push the focus back on Trump's comments and actions, and the actions of members of his campaign previous year.

"The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of fearless men and women working as hard as they can to keep people they will never know safe from harm".

Wray said that these mistakes get addressed after investigations by the Justice Department's inspector general.

Yet another member of special counsel Robert Mueller's team has raised suspicions of political bias.

To protect upcoming USA elections, Wray said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has set up a foreign influence task force that draws on the expertise of several divisions of the agency - and, Wray added, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is working in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security which has set up a similar multi-disciplinary group within that agency.

Asked to clarify what he meant, Wray explained the FBI would be prepared to reopen an investigation as long as there is no statute of limitation issue.

"Tell us what was in it. Tell us if I'm wrong".

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