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FBI Director Christopher Wray at a virtual DOJ news briefing on Oct. 28. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as director of the FBI and has "confidence in the job he is doing," White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed in a tweet Thursday.

The big picture: Wray, who was nominated by former President Trump in 2017 after he fired former FBI Director James Comey, came under heavy criticism from Trump and his allies over the past year.

  • Trump always distrusted the FBI and the intelligence community, and was angered by Wray's perceived failure to punish those involved in the Russia investigation and to investigate Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings.
  • Wray further angered the former president by testifying before Congress that the FBI had not found any evidence of widespread voter fraud, including through mail-in ballots, and that Antifa is an "ideology," not an "organization."

Between the lines: Amid speculation that Wray could be fired, the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) sent letters to Biden and Trump in late October to urge them to allow the FBI director to finish his 10-year term and insulate the bureau from politics.

What they're saying: House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) praised Biden's decision to return to 10-year terms for FBI directors. "Such terms, which transcend administrations, were intended to insulate a director from the kind of improper personal or political considerations that led Donald Trump to fire former Director James Comey," Schiff wrote in a statement.

What to watch: The FBI is in the early stages of a massive investigation into felony cases "tied to sedition and conspiracy" after Trump supporters led a deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol. The probe spans several states, has so far resulted in over 125 arrests, and involves multiple U.S. Attorneys' offices.

The bottom line: FBIAA President Brian O’Hare wrote last year that the FBI is facing a “daunting threat environment,” citing domestic and foreign terrorism, espionage, cyber-attacks, and traditional crimes. After the siege on the Capitol, the agency only faces more potential threats to deal with.

Go deeper

Ex-FBI lawyer sentenced to 12-months probation in Durham investigation

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service on Friday after pleading guilty to altering an email used to obtain a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page during the 2016 Russia investigation.

Why it matters: Clinesmith is thus far the only person to be convicted in special counsel John Durham investigation's into the origins of the Russia probe, which has been ongoing since May 2019.

2 mins ago - Health

WHO authorizes China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

A medical worker administering a coronavirus vaccine in Nanjing, China, on May 7, 2021. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The World Health Organization authorized China’s Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Friday, making it the sixth vaccine to receive clearance from the global health agency.

Why it matters: The authorization will allow COVAX, the WHO's initiative to equitably develop and distribute coronavirus vaccines, to purchase Sinopharm's vaccine and bolster its supply, according to the New York Times.

Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low — Majority back vaccine proof requirements for travel, schools and work — The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant.
  2. Politics: Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations — Americans' return to the skies could benefit smaller airlines.
  5. World: Amazon postpones Prime Day sales in India and Canada over coronavirus surge — Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell — True COVID-19 death toll is double the official numbers, study finds.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.