WASHINGTON – FBI Director Christopher Wray threatened to resign in the face of continued pressure from Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire top officials at the agency, local media reported.
Sessions asked Wray to force his No. 2 FBI official – Andrew McCabe – to resign, with McCabe having been the repeated target of criticism from President Donald Trump.
Specifically, CNN reported that Sessions suggested to Wray, who has been FBI chief since August 2017, that he needed to make a “fresh start” regarding top FBI officials and, along those lines, he suggested that it was necessary to fire McCabe, who was the right-hand man of former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last year.
In response to Sessions’ pressure, Wray threatened to resign if McCabe is let go or reassigned to a different post within the agency.
Trump selected Wray to head the FBI after abruptly firing Comey, who was heading the investigation into possible links between Russia and members of the magnate’s campaign to facilitate his 2016 election victory.
Upon being asked on Tuesday by reporters at the White House, Trump said that Wray had never threatened to resign, adding that he expected him to “do a good job.”
“He did not (threaten to resign), even a little bit. Nope. He’s going to do a good job,” said Trump of Wray.
In recent months, Trump has harshly attacked the FBI and said that the agency currently has the worst reputation in its history.
The president has also lashed out repeatedly on Twitter against McCabe for donations his wife, Jill McCabe, received in 2015 when she was running for a Virginia Senate seat.
At that time, Jill McCabe received $675,288 from two entities associated with Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who has been described as former President Bill Clinton’s “best friend,” and thus a person close to Hillary Clinton, Trump’s rival in the 2016 election.
While Jill McCabe was running in the Virginia election, her husband was participating in the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private e-mail servers to handle national business while she was secretary of state from 2009-2013.
Upon being asked by EFE to comment on the press reports, an FBI spokesman on Tuesday refused to do so.