Jul 23, 2019 - Politics & Policy

FBI director's day on the Hill: China, Russia and domestic terrorism

Wray sitting in his chair, facing the committee.

Christopher Wray. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray addressed bureau oversight, China, election security and domestic terrorism in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

The big picture: Wray identified China as the top counterintelligence threat to the United States, and cited Russia as the second greatest concern.

  • He said the lines between China's government and private sector are "blurred," giving the communist country the chance to use "nontraditional collectors" to engage in espionage.
  • "As long as they keep committing crimes and threatening our national security, they are going to keep encountering the FBI," Wray said.

But, but, but: Russia was also a hot topic on Tuesday. When asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham if Russia was still trying to interfere in American elections, Wray responded: "The Russians are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections through foreign influence."

  • "My view is until they stop, they haven’t been deterred enough," Wray added.

Details: Wray outlined the state of domestic terrorism in the U.S., saying the FBI made about 100 arrests related to such criminal activity in the first 3 quarters of the fiscal year. The bureau director said the majority of those cases were related to white supremacy.

Of note: Wray largely avoided questions about the Mueller report and President Trump's recent racist attacks on 4 Democratic congresswomen.

  • Wray said he was trying to give deference to former special counsel Robert Mueller, who is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

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