President Donald Trump on Friday claimed that the leadership of the FBI and Department of Justice “politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans” ahead of the release of a highly controversial Republican memo alleging the FBI abused its surveillance tools.
FBI Director Christopher Wray, who Trump nominated after he fired former FBI Director James Comey in May, responded to the memo’s release by issuing a message to agency employees urging them to “keep calm and tackle hard.”
“The American people read the papers, and they hear lots of talk on cable TV and social media,” Wray wrote in the message. “But they see and experience the actual work you do – keeping communities safe and our nation secure, often dealing with sensitive matters and making decisions under difficult circumstances. And that work will always matter more.”
“Talk is cheap; the work you do is what will endure,” he continued.
Trump approved the release of the controversial memo despite strong objections from top officials at the FBI and Justice Department, who said the memo contained misleading, incomplete and erroneous information.
The FBI issued a rare public statement on Wednesday expressing “grave concerns” about the memo’s contents.
Wray told FBI employees that they “speak through our work” and stay “laser-focused…even when it’s not easy, because we believe in the FBI.”
“We believe in what it stands for and in what this institution means to people,” he wrote. “And nothing is going to change that.”
The FBI director encouraged employees to “keep doing your great work and keep being the great people you are.”
“[I] consider it an incredible privilege to work beside you – and that I’m determined to defend your integrity and professionalism every day,” he wrote. “Remember: keep calm and tackle hard.”