President Joe Biden has confidence in FBI Director Chris Wray and plans to keep him in his job, the White House press secretary announced Thursday.
FBI directors are allotted 10-year terms. Their bureau leadership position is typically unaffected by changes in presidential administrations. Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki was noncommittal when asked by reporters at her first briefing Wednesday whether Biden has confidence in Wray.
"I have not spoken with him about specifically FBI Director Wray in recent days," Psaki said at her debut press conference, according to the Associated Press.
On Thursday afternoon, Psaki clarified Biden's stance amid the public's confusion, tweeting: "I caused an unintentional ripple yesterday so wanted to state very clearly President Biden intends to keep FBI Director Wray on in his role and he has confidence in the job he is doing."
Wray was named to head the bureau in 2017 by former President Donald Trump after the firing of former FBI Director James Comey earlier that year.
He is slated to maintain his role even as the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are under scrutiny in the wake of Capitol Hill riot on Jan. 6 that left five dead. The Justice Department inspector general and other watchdog offices have since launched internal investigations.
"The DOJ OIG also will assess whether there are any weaknesses in DOJ protocols, policies, or procedures that adversely affected the ability of DOJ or its components to prepare effectively for and respond to the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6," the department stated in the Jan. 15 press release.
Trump took issue with Wray's mitigated view of Antifa as "an ideology" as opposed to an organized militant movement that has caused vandalism, theft, and arson across the nation.
In October, an organization representing thousands of FBI agents urged Trump and his then-Democratic rival to retain Wray for the length of his term.
"While the president can remove an FBI director, doing so could lead to instability and damage to the bureau’s operations, which is why Congress intended to insulate the position of director from political whims," FBI Agents Association president Brian O'Hare said via press statement in October 2020.