White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued her first clarification/apology on Thursday. Hours after President Biden was sworn in, Psaki held her first press conference and predictably fielded some softball questions from the press corps.
As for the relatively tough questions, she avoided a few of them altogether. Case in point, one reporter wanted to know if Biden planned to retain FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, or if he wanted a shakeup at the agency following the deadly riots on Capitol Hill. President Trump installed Wray as director in 2017 after his firing of the controversial James Comey. Comey had served for just about four years of what is typically a 10-year term.
“I have not spoken with him about specifically FBI Director Wray in recent days,” Psaki replied when asked on Wednesday.
But that apparent dodge caused some ripple effects across Washington, making many wonder if Biden was going to ask Wray to step down. Psaki, realizing what she'd done, issued the following clarification on Thursday.
I caused an unintentional ripple yesterday so wanted to state very clearly President Biden intends to keep FBI Director Wray on in his role and he has confidence in the job he is doing.— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) January 21, 2021
The DOJ opened an investigation in the wake of the deadly Capitol riots on January 6, which DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz said will take a close look at what the department knew before the chaos began.
“The DOJ OIG also will assess whether there are any weaknesses in DOJ protocols, policies, or procedures that adversely affected the ability of DOJ or its components to prepare effectively for and respond to the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6,” the department said.
That means those in leadership positions are especially under the microscope. As Politico notes, Director Wray waited more than a week to make a public appearance after the Capitol riots. But, at least for now it seems, Biden is keeping him around.