Trump’s attacks put new FBI director in tough spot

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Christopher Wray is facing a tough test four months into his leadership of the FBI. He must defend the agency against blistering attacks from President Donald Trump without putting his own job at risk.

The competing pressures Wray faces will be on display Thursday when he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee. Democrats may push him to respond forcefully to Trump’s weekend tweets saying the FBI’s reputation is “in tatters.”

Republicans will likely echo Trump’s concerns about what they see as political bias in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia. They have seized on revelations that an FBI agent was removed from Mueller’s team because of anti-Trump text messages.

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