Back in Atlanta, new FBI chief touts independence from Trump

Director Christopher Wray took questions while in Atlanta for the grand opening of a new FBI field office.

ATLANTA -- The new FBI director says he has very little interaction with President Donald Trump, the man who appointed former Atlanta prosecutor Christopher Wray to lead the bureau.  Wray's appointment came after the controversial firing of James Comey and the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump’s campaign ties to Russia.  

FBI director Wray returned to his hometown of Atlanta Thursday to help open the new FBI field office near Mercer University in DeKalb County.

"I have relatively little direct interaction with the president," Wray told reporters in Atlanta. He got several questions about his relationship with Trump – the president who has clashed with the bureau’s two previous leaders.

"Not a whole lot of interaction with the president," Wray reiterated.  "I’ve had certainly plenty of interaction with the White House and the National Security Council, homeland security folks at the White House. A little bit of interaction with the president," Wray said in response to a question from 11Alive News.

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Wray describes his limited relationship with President Trump as “professional" – at a time when the FBI is assisting a special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia. And Wray said the White House has steered clear, in the two months since he took over.

"I’m completely confident as we stand here right now that we are being allowed to do our job independently, and I’m going to insist on nothing less," Wray said. 

Wray went on to praise his predecessors, James Comey and Bob Mueller, for modernizing the FBI over the last decade.  President Trump has denounced Mueller, who leads the Russia investigation. And Trump fired Comey, leading to the appointment of Wray.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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