White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows criticized FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday after the top law enforcement official told a congressional committee that the agency has seen no evidence of voter fraud ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Wray testified the FBI had “not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise” during an appearance before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday. His remarks contradicted the stance of President Trump, who has claimed that mail-in ballots are vulnerable to fraud.
“With all due respect to Director Wray, he has a hard time finding emails at his own FBI, let alone figuring out whether there’s any kind of voter fraud,” Meadows said during an appearance on CBS This Morning. “This is a very different case. The rules are being changed.”
The expected widespread use of mail-in ballots has emerged as a key source of debate ahead of Election Day. Earlier this week, the Justice Department announced an investigation into nine discarded ballots that were discovered in Pennsylvania.
Meadows referenced the Pennsylvania case during his admonition of Wray.
“What I’m suggesting is, perhaps he can drill down on the investigation that just started,” Meadows added. “Others that we’re seeing in North Carolina and other places where multiple ballots, duplicate ballots are being sent out, perhaps he needs to get involved on the ground and he would change his testimony on Capitol Hill.”
Wray, a Trump appointee, recently drew the president’s ire for separate testimony before congressional lawmakers. The FBI director said Antifa was “a movement or an ideology” rather than an organized group and said evidence showed that Russia was engaged in a “very active” effort to denigrate the Democratic presidential nominee ahead of the election.
Trump has hinted that Wray’s role as FBI director could be in jeopardy.
“We’re looking at a lot of different things,” Trump told reporters at the White House last week when asked if he could look to replace Wray. “I did not like his answers yesterday and I’m not sure he liked them either. I’m sure that he probably would agree with me.”