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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)
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.

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