Jul 23, 2019

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

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.

Go deeper: Trump says he has confidence in FBI director

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FBI director touts nearly 100 domestic terrorism arrests this fiscal year

Christopher Wray. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, saying the bureau has made about 100 domestic terrorism arrests in the first 3 quarters of this fiscal year.

Why it matters: The majority of the arrests were related to white supremacy. Overt white supremacy is reportedly on the rise, with a global trend toward nationalism emboldening prejudiced players.

Go deeperArrowJul 23, 2019

Kamala Harris outlines plan to tackle domestic terrorism

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at a gun safety forum at Iowa Events Center on Aug. 10. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) released a plan Wednesday to tackle domestic terrorism by limiting gun access, following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton this month.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism is a growing threat in the U.S. FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress in July that the bureau had made about 100 domestic terrorism arrests in the first 3 quarters of this fiscal year. Harris is the latest 2020 candidate to address this issue.

Go deeperArrowAug 15, 2019

The era of white nationalism

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

White nationalism — a racist extremism that was confined to the ugly fringes for most of our lives — is a growing major danger in America.

The big picture: Racial resentment and anxiety have been a central appeal for Donald Trump and his rhetoric among the working-class, forgotten Americans who put him over the top, and who are at the core of his re-election strategy.

Go deeperArrowAug 6, 2019