FBI chief defends agency amid blistering attack by Trump

FBI Director Christopher Wray appears before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington on Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 07 December 2017
0

FBI chief defends agency amid blistering attack by Trump

WASHINGTON: FBI Director Chris Wray says President Donald Trump has never gone outside the chain of command to communicate with him directly, and has never asked him to pledge his loyalty to him.
Wray also says Trump has not spoken to him about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Former FBI Director James Comey has said that Trump asked him for his loyalty and spoke to him one-on-one multiple times.
Comey has said that during one of those private conversations, Trump told him he hoped he’d consider ending an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat.
Wray on Thuirsday have an impassioned defense of his agency against Trump.
During a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Wray was asked to respond to Trump’s weekend tweets calling the FBI a biased institution whose reputation is in “tatters.”
Wray says, “The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of brave men and women working as hard as they can to keep people they will never know safe from harm.”
He says the bureau’s agents and analysts are “decent people committed to the highest principals of integrity and professionalism and respect.” And he says the agency is respected by its law enforcement partners.
It is Wray’s strongest defense yet of the agency he has led for four months.


Afghanistan’s vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum to return home from exile

Updated 22 July 2018
0

Afghanistan’s vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum to return home from exile

  • Dostum’s return follows nearly three weeks of mass protests in northern Afghanistan
  • The protests were a major headache for the government amid increased attacks by the Taliban and Daesh

KABUL: Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, who was exiled by President Ashraf Ghani’s government over allegations of sexual abuse, returned home on Sunday to rapturous reception from supporters and is set to resume his duties as normal.
Dostum’s return follows nearly three weeks of mass protests in northern Afghanistan by his ethnic Uzbek supporters, who blocked several border crossings and government institutions, and threatened to boycott the long-delayed October elections.
The protests were a major headache for the government amid increased attacks by the Taliban and Daesh in the north recently.
Dostum’s supporters accuse Ghani of having sidelined him. The protests were triggered by the arrest of Nizamuddin Qaisari, a senior commander and Dostum loyalist accused of severe human rights abuses and threatening to kill provincial officials.
In a video, government troops were seen beating Qaisari’s handcuffed guards during his arrest, stoking further anger.
Haroon Chakansuri, a spokesman for Ghani, said Dostum had gone to Turkey for nearly 14 months for unspecified medical treatment, and would return home on a chartered aircraft on Sunday and be given an official reception.
Accusations that Dostum had ordered his guards to sexually abuse and torture political rival Ahmad Eschi will be handled independently by the courts, Chakansuri said. Dostum supporters say the allegations about Eschi are a conspiracy.
Ghani picked Dostum, the self-proclaimed leader of ethnic Uzbeks, as his running mate in the 2014 elections.
Ghani last year blocked Dostum’s return from exile when he tried to fly home to form an opposition alliance including senior government members.
The ethnic Uzbek vote is essential for any candidate in the presidential elections slated for next year. Ghani has said he will stand for office again.