Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET
FBI Director Christopher Wray defended his agency publicly on Thursday for the first time since President Trump denigrated it on Twitter last weekend.
"There is no shortage of opinions," Wray said in a House hearing. Judicial Committee "What I can tell you is that the FBI is tens of thousands of agents, badysts and staff working to protect Americans from the next terrorist attack: gang violence, child predators, spies from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. "
" The FBI that I see, "Wray added," are tens of thousands of brave men and women who are working as hard as they can to keep people they will never know without danger "
. That description is very far from the way the president described the agency on Sunday, when he said that "his reputation is in the rags, the worst in history!". in a tweet
After years of Comey, with Clinton's dishonest and dishonest investigation (and more), running the FBI, his reputation is in the rags, the worst in history! But do not fear, we will return it to greatness.
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017
Those comments by Wray, and his separation from Trump on the reputation and position of The FBI – set the tone for an audience, as many others this year, divided into partisan lines.
Republican lawmakers focused intensely on the revelations that surfaced last week about Peter Strzok, a senior FBI agent who worked on both the email probe Hillary Clinton under former FBI director James Comey and the investigation by the Russian Department of Justice, whose anti-Trump text messages led him to be removed from Robert Mueller's special investigative team during the summer.
The Inspector General The Justice Department is in the middle of an investigation investigating Strzok's behavior, and if any FBI investigator improperly allowed his political inclinations to affect Clinton's investigation. Many times, Wray said he could not give more details about Strzok's actions or the actions of others, due to the ongoing investigation.
Rep. Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, said that if all the members of Mueller's team that was "anti-Trump" were expelled from the investigation, "I do not know if there will be anyone left." Therefore, Jordan suggested that there had to be more issues with Strzok that were not yet publicly known, or even, in a more confidential or secure environment, that members of Congress are still known.
Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio, among others, specifically mentioned the fact that Strzok participated in the adjustment of former FBI Director James Comey's statement last summer about Hillary Clinton's email server. As CNN reported, Strzok changed Comey's key description of Clinton's actions from "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless."
"The depths of this anti-Trump bias in Mueller's team simply continue and continue," said Representative Chabot. . "It's absolutely shocking."
The Democrats, however, sought to focus on Trump's comments and actions, and on the actions of the members of his campaign last year. Repeatedly they gave Wray an opportunity to challenge the FBI president's interpretation of a "tattered" agency.
"My experience has been that our reputation is pretty good," Wray said, responding to the questioning of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.
As reported by NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson, Mueller is a Republican who has been called both Democratic and Republican presidents the years to make a very important job.
Wray also faced questions about possible legal problems for Trump that arose in person from Mueller's investigation.
Details of the indictment documents related to the agreement of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump's recent tweets gives new life to questions about the obstruction of justice related to the president's decision to dismiss Comey, Wray's predecessor.
Wray, however, repeatedly deferred questions about whether Trump's decision would put him in legal danger.
Other issues on the agenda with legislators include Wray's independence from the president and administration, the renewal of a law that the FBI and other intelligence community agencies have said is critical to the fight against terrorism and a recent FBI report on so-called black identity extremists that has been a concern for several African-American members of the committee.