Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell made a bombshell revelation on a podcast regarding FBI Director Christopher Wray hours before the bureau raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
On Just The News’ John Solomon podcast, Grenell warned that the FBI is facing a “real crisis” from left-wing partisanship that has affected investigations while going on to say that he urged then-President Trump to fire Wray in 2020 when those concerns first became evident, the outlet reported exclusively.
“I told President Trump we got to get rid of him,” Grenell said Monday. “[Wray] was terrible. First of all, he didn’t understand what was happening. He was so aloof to what was happening down below and had just a knee-jerk reaction to everything just to protect the status quo.”
Just the News adds:
Grenell made the comments just hours before Trump announced Monday the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home and office in Florida, cracking a safe and removing documents in an apparent probe into suspected missing classified documents.
Grenell, who also served as U.S. ambassador to Germany, said the reasons he urged Wray’s dismissal two years ago were rooted in his inability to see politics ruining the storied law enforcement agency.
“He’s a creature of the FBI,” Grenell said. “And he views everything as a PR exercise. Don’t criticize the FBI. Don’t talk about any failures at the FBI because he loves the brand. And it was a brand exercise.”
A number of then-Trump officials, including Attorney General William Barr, apparently learned that Trump was considering dumping Wray in 2020 but advised him not to do so as he had already axed ex-Director James Comey for his misconduct during the probe of 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Grenell went on to discuss an incident in the spring of 2020 when he was still acting DNI and was attempting to declassify documents regarding FBI misconduct in the so-called ‘Russian collusion’ counterintelligence investigation in which the former president was accused by some of being aided and abetted in his campaign by Moscow. In addition, Grenell wanted to similarly declassify FBI documents regarding the agency’s probe of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, but he said he got “a lot of pushback.”
He said he was told by FBI leaders that frontline agents did not want those documents declassified because doing so would allegedly reveal confidential investigative sources and methods.
“I said I’d like to talk to these FBI agents who actually redacted this information,” he recalled. “And oh, boy, they did not want me to. But I did. I pushed through, and because I had the position, I was able to do it. I said, ‘You know, look, I’m about to release this information. But I’m asking you to tell me. If this is really a source or a method, point it to me. What am I missing here?’
“Did you know, John, that the FBI rank and file agents who did that said to me, ‘We agree with you. We didn’t redact this. Our bosses did.’ And it was so obvious to me that there was a political manipulation from up top,” he added.
The former DNI said that concerns about the politicization of the FBI have only grown since then, as he cited revelations earlier this month from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) that a number of FBI whistleblowers have come forth to claim that there is improper meddling in sensitive probes, including, according to reports, those involving first son Hunter Biden.
The allegations also include launching a probe of Trump without having proper justification to do so, while also claiming that damning evidence found on Hunter Biden’s now-infamous laptop was improperly labeled “Russian disinformation.”
Grenell blamed these findings squarely on Wray.
“The leadership is not willing to keep politics out,” he said. “And that’s the problem. We’ve got a real crisis when it comes to the leadership at the FBI and the leadership at DOJ. I do think that the rank-and-file folks are beginning to get sick of it. I know a lot of them. And they’ve been very nervous about the political payback that would come if they spoke up.”