Trump's FBI director pick Christopher Wray gets bipartisan endorsements

The president announced Christopher Wray as his nominee today.

ByABC News
June 7, 2017, 12:00 PM

— -- President Donald Trump's new FBI director nominee is receiving support from some notable Trump critics.

Trump announced via Twitter this morning that his nominee is Christopher Wray, a lawyer who was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice's criminal division in 2003.

Shortly after Wray's nomination was announced, reactions started to roll in.

Norm Eisen, a former ethics czar for the Obama administration and co-founder of the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), is a frequent Trump critic, but he seems to have found common ground with the selection of Wray.

"Good choice. Oversaw Enron case, which I also spent years of my life on. He was very fair. I endorse," Eisen wrote in a Tweet.

"He's very respected in white collar bar (where i practiced for decades before becoming watchdog), did good job on enron, i endorse him," he wrote in a second Tweet.

In subsequent tweets, Eisen addressed various other Twitter users who took issue with the fact that Wray represented Trump supporter and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"Important not to confuse lawyers and their clients; I repped some controversial folks too before becoming a watchdog! wray is a good choice," Eisen wrote in one such response.

Another voice of support came from Matt Miller, a former spokesman for the Department of Justice under former Attorney General Eric Holder. He is also a frequent Trump critic.

"Wray probably the best choice from the WH short list, His record in the Bush DOJ deserves scrutiny, but he's a serious, respectable pick," Miller wrote on Twitter.

The support extends into the Trump administration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement calling Wray "an extraordinary person, possessing all the gifts necessary to be a great Director of the FBI."

Sessions, who reportedly offered his resignation to Trump, went on to "congratulate President Trump for choosing a leader of proven skill, independence, and integrity, a man in whom all Americans can have confidence."

"The President asked us to look for an FBI Director who has integrity, who understands and is committed to the rule of law, and who is dedicated to protecting the American people from crime, gangs, and terrorists," Sessions' statement concluded. "We have found our man in Chris Wray."

House Speaker Paul Ryan was asked about the pick this morning. He said the president hadn't consulted him, but he appeared positive about Wray's credentials, saying "he's the perfect kind of person."

"I thought we should have a career person take over the FBI, someone with a deep bench of experience," Ryan said. "He certainly seems to fit that bill."

The FBI Agents Association issued a statement after the announcement of Wray's nomination, neither endorsing nor opposing the pick.

"The FBIAA National Executive Board looks forward to meeting with Mr. Wray, who formerly served as Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice Criminal Division, very soon. As the key stakeholder in this process, it is critically important that the FBIAA understands his views on the FBI, Special Agents, and the criminal and national security threats that Agents combat daily," the association's president Thomas O'Connor said in the statement.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, was asked about the pick on "CBS This Morning" and said that he doesn't know Wray, but believes the nomination was announced as a form of distraction.

"I don't know Christopher Wray. I hear he's got a good reputation," Warner said, "but clearly this is an effort by the president to try to distract attention from our hearings today and the hearings tomorrow."

The FBI director position has been open since Trump fired James Comey on May 9 and his former deputy Andrew McCabe has been acting director since. The position requires Senate confirmation.

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