Biden plans to keep Wray as FBI director: New York Times

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on "Threats to the Homeland" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Joe Biden will not remove Christopher Wray as FBI director if he is still in the job when the Democratic president takes office, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing a senior Biden official.

Biden’s team was “not removing the F.B.I. director unless Trump fired him,” the Times quoted the official as saying.

The Biden campaign did not return a request for comment on the report.

Asked if Trump retained full confidence in Wray, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said the president has made no assessments in her presence on the issue.

Wray, who was appointed by Trump in 2017 to replace fired Director James Comey, has faced repeated criticism from the Republican president, particularly in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Wray told lawmakers in September he had not seen evidence of a “coordinated national voter fraud effort,” undercutting the Republican president’s unfounded assault on mail-in balloting.

He testified before a House of Representatives committee that his biggest concern in the 2020 election was the “steady drumbeat of misinformation” coming from Russian interference.

Trump appointed Wray after he Comey during a federal probe into ties between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russia. The probe found that Russia tried to sway the 2016 presidential election toward Trump, but it did not find evidence of criminal conspiracy with Trump’s campaign.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski