tv FBI Director on 2019 Budget Request CSPAN May 20, 2018 5:50am-6:59am EDT
called at 3:00, i think there are two votes. our hearing was intended and will be a two-part. this one in public and we will reconvene to the skiff in the visitor center in the united states capital for a more classified briefing and we intend to do that. senator shaheen and i have forgo ouragreed to opening statements. i will hold the members, senator feinstein is the only one here to hear this, but i will do everything i can including with senator leahy to restrict everyone to five minutes and i will use the gavel to a countless that. i will also attempt to call the hearing, or reconvene in the skiff, following the second vote. of that to vote series. we will try to get started as early as we can. in that setting, we will be given an opportunity to pursue things that we did not pursue
here. i would like to say as my opening statement that it is an honor to have you in front of us. it has been a pleasure to get to know you. i've expressed my things to those that work combating crime and terrorism. i am very grateful for their service to our nation and their efforts that are so often successful in protecting us from a lot of harm in the line -- lives of american service. i am grateful for your service and the fbi that you serve. senator shaheen is forgoing her opening statement. thank you, mr. chairman. ranking member marin and members of the subcommittee, i am honored to be here representing the members of the fbi. our employees are spread across more than 350 locations. all around the country. 90 offices around the world and 34 headquartered divisions.
what strikes me the most in coming back to working with this organization every day after a hiatus is the people. jobs withkling their strength, honesty, and professionalism. people committed to doing the right thing in the right way. people fiercely committed to protecting the american people from terrorists and criminals and spies. and people following the facts independently, no matter where they lead and a meta-who likes its. our people, nearly 37,000 of them, are the heart of the fbi and through their sense of duty and commitment, our employees and body of our core values and fidelity, bravery, and integrity. i want to think you for the funding that you -- thank you for the funding you provided. we would not be able to do that great work without there.
also, i am happy to address questions about our budget here today in addition to the threats that we face and our incredible capabilities. this committee has always been tremendously supportive of the bureau in giving us the resources that we need and i look forward to discussing how we can maintain our capabilities . how we can build on that momentum going forward. in particular, i hope to be able to discuss the threats that we face and the fbi's critical capabilities. we have a lot of things on our plate including counterterrorism, violent crime. the opioid epidemic, and child predators and that is just at the top of the list. the threats are of grave importance to our security. we want the american people to be able to focus on living their
lives while we focus on keeping them safe. i am incredibly proud of the fbi's work. we cannot afford to be complacent. we have to keep pace with technology and all of those areas that i listed. and figure out new innovations to the problems we face. our adversaries are not going to wait around for us and we have to keep pace with them. we can't do any of that without the resources that you provide. we are committed to being good stewards of those funds. thank you for having me here. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, director. round ofgin with my questioning and i will try to do so briefly as well. i had intended to ask much more budget oriented questions before i got to this one but i do want to highlight the importance to me in an effort that our subcommittee in commerce.
it is responsible for olympic and amateur sports through the ted stevens olympic and amateur sports act. senator feinstein from california has been hugely engaged in this issue but a recep committee is looking into what happened, to gymnasts in as a result of sexual abuse. and in our investigation, we have collect thousands of documents and have had two hearings. one of the things, director, that i wanted to ask you is that -- let me read this so i get it correct. current and former athletes who have come forward with accusations of abuse by individuals associated with their sport. and michigan state's response to claims of sexual abuse indicate that those indications were such that the fbi had been notified. dr. larryld know,
nassar has been convicted and is serving prison time. but, the follow-up to that, has been that the various entities who received reports of this abuse had an indication from the fbi not to say anything and that the fbi had been notified. i know that you have commenced an investigation, and internal investigation of what transpired, but the answers to these questions are important to us as we pursue additional hearings in the future. so, director, i would appreciate anything you could tell me about whether or not reports of abuse of athletes were made to the fbi would have encouraged or insisted that the people making those report say nothing to anyone else. dir. wray: as we have discussed, i think what happened to those women is horrific and i am
gratified that dr. nasser is being held accountable and will be spending the rest of his life in prison. i first learned that there were questions about the fbi's response to allegations during the 2015-2016 period that things were happening -- i learned about that in february when the newspapers again to raise the issue. i immediately commissioned our inspection division to do a deep dive, and after action report, to look at what was done, what was not done, what lessons we can learn from that, and how we can make sure that we are doing things appropriately. that review is ongoing. i have nothing to report on right now but i am looking forward to that and committed to taking appropriate steps once i hear what they find. >> i look forward to following that reports completion and having a complete understanding of what transpired. there would be consequences for
others involved that we are investigating. let me ask a general question related to the one we just discussed. i am of the view that the appropriations process needs to work, we need to march 12 appropriation bills across the floor, the house floor, and be considered by the president. obviously, the appropriations process is about spending money and priorities which we look forward to hearing more from you about. it is also about oversight. i want to subcommittee to be in a position in which we pursue whether or not taxpayer dollars are wisely spent. i would ask you at this point, tell me your view about additional oversight, what do you expect to be the relationship between our subcommittee and other congressional committees in regard to the fbi and what is its responsibility to congress? dir. wray: this is an important topic to me. we respect the importance of
traditional congressional oversight. we welcome the questions and we are committed to being as responsive as we can to appropriate questions and requests. of course, we are also committed to being faithful to our growth, american people and of all the constitution. and all of us in the intelligence community understand that to include, as it always has, protection of sources and methods. that as anyone in the intelligence community knows, human sources in particular who put themselves at us andisk to work with with or foreign partners, have to be able to trust that we are going to protect their identities and in many cases, their lives and the lives of their families. and the day that we cannot protect human sources is the day the american people start becoming less safe. less safe
>> thank you, director. let me turn to senator shaheen. senator shaheen: i want to follow up senator marantz questions about larry nassar. head of the commerce subcommittee that is looking at this. you may not know the answer, but if you don't, i hope you will see if you can find out and in lewd bat and the information provided to the committee. when the fbi agents interviewed individuals that had the alleged abuse by nassar, do you know if they were victims specialists in the case of minors, adolescence, victims specialists bear for those interviews? >> i don't know the answer to that question. i do know that there are victims assistance that's an incredibly important function for us and deals with victims exactly like these folks. they are stretched very thin,
but the reason we call them the office of the victim assistance is because they are designed to help. it's not just make them possible witnesses. >> i hope that your investigation will examine that and that if the appropriate people were not bear that it would reflect that so that we have that information for the future. also, if you can commit to sharing the results of the internal review with this committee. >> i would be happy to make sure we are providing all of the appropriate information about that review. at the moment i don't know what they are going to find, but this is an important topic. there is nothing more important, no category of victims more important than the most vulnerable populations which includes our kids. >> absolutely. and i think the question is not just is very species came delete the -- is larry nassar held accountable but anyone that knew that it was going on.
we need them to be held accountable also. when you and i spoke on the phone, and i appreciate your call, we talked about the elections coming up into the intelligence community has said the interference that we saw in the elections there were reasons to believe there will be efforts in 2018 to kenya talk about what the fbi is doing to secure the systems? >> our role in particular we work closely with the department of homeland security and others in our role is focusing on trying to identify the threat and investigate different pursue and disrupt.
this brings together the counterintelligence division, cyber division, criminal division and even the counterterrorism division with the idea of having a single consolidated coordinated effort that makes this a priority and we work with our colleagues at the dhs and our foreign partners because of course they have concerns about the efforts to interfere and influence i should they in 2020. >> i look forward to hearing more details about that in a closed session because i think this is not a partisan issue, this is about a foreign government' effort to undermine our system of government and ultimately our way of life in america.
so, whatever the fbi can do to address that i think is important. on may 6, the new yorker ran what i thought was a troubling story about an israeli private intelligence firm. the firm apparently is accused of performing undercover campaigns to discredit the obama administration officials that have been proponents of the 2015 nuclear deal and the firm is also accused of being used by harvey weinstein to gather intelligence to stop the publication of sexual misconduct allegations against him. what is the fbi role in investigating this kind of organization i that is trying to undermine the citizens. >> what i can tell you is we look at these things through the
two lenses. we want to approach with their there are counterintelligence indications and we will look at any firm that is engaged in the federal criminal law and there is many of those as you can imagine. >> thank you. my time is up. i apologize for going to another hearing, but i look forward to seeing you in a closed session. the mac in regards to the athletes i appreciate your leadership in this regard. i know how serious you take this. senator lankford is next and we will hold you to the time-limited test i can. >> director, good to see you again. past six months there've been numerous requests back and forth iwith the fbi and the additional
contractors to expedite the process. can you give me an update on the request from the house and senate for anthesenate for any e have requested either from the house with the senate to have access to the rejected or unredacted what is the status of that please? >> as you eluded to, we have been doing quite a number of requests. some of them almost unprecedented in their volume from a number of different committees. we have indicates of one committee for example, we have doubled the number. i doubled the number of people workinworking around-the-clock full-time to over 50 people. so, we are chugging away making progress. a lot of the reductions will depend on particular requests like grand jury secrecy and where we legally have an implication or as i referenced with sharon the human sources and methods that go with it.
so, we are trying our best to be responsive but also to be responsible. >> do you have a deadline to win their believe the documents in request? there's always another request coming. >> br -- i don't have numbers for you right now. that level of specificity in the hearing i can tell you that every week we are cranking out documents and people are coming to pieces by week set aside to reveal the documents, so it is an ongoing process. >> let me switch over. at the department of justice and i had a conversation about six years ago about aligning the process of the fbi and they are both doing investigations, but the processes are different to continue to raise the department of justice to be able to do but take a look at the two processes to make sure that they have been consistent and that the fbi has a very good process of investigations into how to gather evidence and there may be
some things to learn. do you know if there has been an outreach gets to the fbi to be able to look at the processes to try to lay that comparison out? >> i don't know specifically about that. i will tell you that we were continually with atf. they are great partners and while there are things they can learn from us there are things we can learn from them also. can you help us understand better what can be done better to give your agents or time to be able to work on the transnational criminal organizations and the crimes against children and so many other things you do rather than time on the background check is there a better way to do this? >> i think we are all frustrated at the pace. we have to be thorough and one
of the things we deal with this when we are running the searches, we are fundamentally at the fbi field deployed organizations, so it's not just one place centrally in the headquarters that would have all that information. people can be more common nominees can be faster getting us paperwork because that is where we start. there's a lot of different ways in which lots of us have to do more. we have looked at things and we do things like that retired agents that come back as contractors. they have some of that judgment experience we see that requires resources but that is another way. >> is there a way we can help on that we are interested to get that and we don't want to take it time from your agents with other projects that they've got to be able to do projects with speed but also takes a tremendous amount of time.
>> the focus event and the cooperation with the attorneys at this point is that requires a tremendous amount of coordination with all areas of dhs and fbi attorneys is one of the most talked about the most pervasive that we have to deal with the vc it's not jus vcx noe obvious of drug trafficking and all kinds of violent crimes but even the things that might not be as obvious to the american people they are involved in human trafficking and reporting is about than relying on the intellectual property theft with all kinds of things to raise revenue in the violations the subcommittee can think about it. we are seeing one of the strengths that brings to the table over the course of its entire ten year history is to
focus on organized crime, dismantling enterprises, going after not just the people, but taking apart their infrastructure and their money, all that. and so, it's something i think we will have to put more focus on to try to capture also the global cross-border dynamic. at the end of the day i think it comes down to technology into the cross-border dimension of the trends that typ that i wouln that. >> we want you to keep your eye on the ball and let us know what you think. >> the vice-chairman of the committee is recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman and for being here today. i began my career in law enforcement and i watch the fbi and others i hope you take back to the bureau my thanks to the men and women that are working to uphold the integrity and independence of the fbi. that's important to all of us. i have a number of questions for you and note for the record it
it goes beyond balderdash as the statements i've heard any number of youth and a director since august. do you believe they work under the russia investigation. i can only speak to what i've seen since i've been on the job at the agents i've worked with since being on the job have inspired me they are doing the right thing in the right way which is the key.
>> you said after her confirmation hearing that the russia investigation was not a witch hunt and you are far more immersed in the details. does that tell your opinion? you also testified he were deeply concerned about putting the telephone company zte within the united states because of the potential of espionage that violated sanctions and technology to north korea and iran and the commerce department has brought charges against a but it's announced the commerce department to get zte backs of the chinese jobs are not lost. if the president allows zte further access to the market and
american technology, could this place both the telecommunications networks in american's private data at risk? >> the questions about the settlement and its remedies i would divert the commerce department. what i can tell you is we, the fbi remain deeply concerned that any company beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values are not companies that we want to gain positions of power inside the telecommunications network. that gives the capacity to maliciously modified to steal information that gives the capacity to conduct undetected espionage, that gives the control so all those things we are concerned about.
>> the intelligence and the fbi included do pose a potential threat to us thanks >> i want to be careful in responding to a specific company, but i remain of the few that i've articulated before of the companies of the sport and at the capacity that giving them access to telecommunications networks provide. >> you specifically testified zte. >> in response to the question about the company i provided an answer almost identical to what i did here. plainview hasn't changed. >> i share the concern about zte, and i was concerned that 72 hours after the chinese government, half a billion dollars into a theme park that had donald trump's name on it. we should put those people back to work tha.
it's probably just coincidence. >> thank you. senator collins. >> thank you for your leadership. a major challenge for the fbi is homegrown extremists of every state in the nation who have been inspired by isis or al qaeda or similar groups and radicalized no longer bite traveling to the camps in the internet through videos or private chat rooms or other means. how is the fbi countering the threat? it seems to be very difficult to identify the individuals. >> you are exactly right you put your finger on what i would call the highest counterterrorism priority at the moment. we have about a thousand west occasions into a kind of people you are describing covering all 50 states as i'm sitting here right now and that not even
counting the al qaeda investigations into the traditional license investigations into terrorism investigations just the group that you are talking about, and what makes it so hard is that there are not many dots to connect to some of these people. they pick soft targets, they use easy to use weapons, cars, knives, guns and they can make decisions on the spur of the moment. we are trying to get better at looking at red flags to make the switch to mobilizing. a lot of that is outreach to the community and to the law enforcement who know those communities better. but it's hard and it's something i compare notes with my foreign counterparts on and they have the same challenge. challenge. all of our closest allies have the same issue. >> i'm interested in the bill
that we refer to as the no-fly and no bite legislation, and what it says is that if you are listed on the government's terrorist watch list, and i'm not talking about the broad one, i'm talking about the no-fly list where you are considered to be so dangerous that you don't allow us to board an airplane. now obviously a lot of the people on the list are not american, but there is a small subset that is, and our bills on a bipartisan bill says you should be able to purchase a firearm if you were on that li list. to process the denial of the firearm purchase in the federal court if you win the attorneys fees are reimbursed. do you think that is a good policy for us?
>> certainly like you, i want to make sure we are keeping guns out of the wrong hands and i want to look at the legislation so we have the same is not just legally, but operationally what it would mean so i would be happy to take a closer look at the bill. >> that would be helpful. finally, how is the fbi responding to the cyber security threats from both state and nonstate actors particularly with regards to the critical infrastructure such as electric grid, the electrical grid? >> goes on the enforcement investigation site and the outreach and communications side we have cyber task forces in every field office in a 24/7
cyber watch. we have a number of things on the outreach aside to try to communicate with the critical infrastructure and give them threat information so they can better prepare and we are trying to the forward leaning. they can take the steps to harden their infrastructure and of course we work very closely with the department of homeland security as well. a mission that we try to tackle together with each of the respective responsibilities. >> i think that communication with the private sector in both directions is critical so that you can share the information, malicious software, say there
was a study with the defense contractors who did that and people were amazed to find they didn't have the same information so that it could be valuable. >> the senator from california. >> i wanted to ask you one question on valeri nassar case. the committee held a hearing on the abuse with an olympic sport. two survivors testified being abused by doctor nassar. what is troubling to me is last week a gold medal olympian came in and spoke to the chairman of the committee and myself to say that she reported abuse to the specific office that i will give you privately that she had suffered abuse and nothing was done about it.
she tried for a year with the fbi in that office and then gave up. so, the question i have is what has the fbi been instructed to take the con playing serious knee and respond to the women making them, because i'm really concerned about it. these are all young women and they deserve an investigation. >> i share your concern and i think my heart goes out to the victims of doctor nassar as i might have mentioned early here in the hearing i have immediately once i heard that there were questions about the stuff that happened in 2015 and 2016 i commissioned to do an after action reports to figure out what we did in all the different offices and what we didn't do what lessons we can learn from that and get the results of that it's still
ongoing. but i intend to make sure that if there were mistakes made, we learn from those mistakes following the murders of the nine churchgoers as emmanuelle in south carolina and 15, the fbi admitted they did not contain information regarding the gun man's drug arrest record which should have prohibited them from buying a handgun. to complete the sale to the gunmen as we know nine people died as a result. are there instances where the state records or other records cannot be physically obtained in a delay period by the fbi? >> i don't know if i can speak for all 50 states.
i've gone out and listened so i can't hear what our folks do and what it's like to take one of these calls. we tried very hard to turn them around as quickly as we can but we need to be right and i will tell you you might be interested to know in the first three months of this year, we have had a record number of checks per month. so we are doing a ton of work and it can only get better. i know that some states the way they keep their record in terms of what they reflect is a disposition in a prior arrest doesn't necessarily fit as well in the systems, so it takes more work to understand because depending it gets really obscure depending which section of the code we are always getting
better. i would have to look at the implications. >> a recommendation one way or another. >> i'd be happy ti would be hapu the impact. >> you say that ms did violent extremist movements collectively pose a steady threat of violence and economic harm to the united states. in 2015, the fbi reported there were 5,850 incidents of hate crimes and specific muslims grew 57% from 2014. given this tremendous increase, what is the fbi doing to increase its investigative resources related to hate crimes? >> we have dedicated units that focus on the civil rights offenses including hate crimes and also defined with some
frequency that hate crimes and domestic terrorism and i think the reference i was making that you refer to that is intended to speak about domestic terrorism that may or may not make that a principal area of focus and we have ironically about the same number of domestic terrorist investigations which is about a thousand as we do homegrown violent extremists and that covers the front all the way from white supremacist investigations to the anarchists investigations and pretty much everything in between. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> the senator from arkansas. >> we are close on time and i would encourage you to stay within the five minutes. >> whatever you tell me to do. >> thank you director for being
here. we appreciate your hard work. i know senator collins has already asked, so i'm not going to ask again about cybersecurity and how important it is. i think all the committee shares that thought and anything we can do to help in that regard, we will. one of the issues that you touched on as you know the department of homeland security is interested. can you talk about your ability to work together or are you working to gather? >> we do work together on those issues. we have task forces specifically focused on child exploitation, child pornography, different kinds of sexual crimes focused on children. i think the homeland security makes a great partner on that end of the work to rely very
heavily on state and local law enforcement because it requires that and then there's also a role i think for the victims of this is because these are unusually difficult cases given the nature of the population. we have something called innocence lost which is an initiative that's focused on making sure we have the maximum impact, and of course the role of cyber as you mentioned in your other topic becomes inextricably intertwined. >> i would like to ask about this in the sense that we have those for one reason or another maybe they've got similar names or whatever.
can you talk about how you are trying to address that? >> the resource constraints are significant as they mention we have a record number of checks the first three months of this year. in my experience the vast majority of calls can be dealt with in the same phone call and as i mentioned, i wanted to see what it's like to be out there in person so i went out to west virginia at the call center and put earplugs on and listened to an operator doing a few of these and some can be greenlighted right on the call and some can be denied, and a lot of them require a little more work, which i think can usually be done in the time period allowed. >> that would be a nice place to go.
and i will yield back in an effort to accommodate my colleagues. >> thanks for being here and to the men and women at the fbi for helping to protect our country. you say in the testimony is important that the fbi have a new headquarters and you talk about the current condition of the j. edgar hoover building. for those of us that have been following the process for many years, we've often with flash when it comes to the fbi building. let me read to you from a 2016 perspective. there'this fbi input, congressil support, and it said that the current building cannot be redeveloped to provide the
necessary space and consolidate the headquarter components were to meet the agency's physical security requirements. they go on to say very specifically that they look at the idea of redeveloping the fbi building in the current site and say that it is not capable of meeting the security setback requirements. as you know, other major security facilities the cia, nsa, cyber command, they are in campus settings with these large setbacks. don't those setbacks provide extra enhanced security to the people that work on those places not important just to these folks but to me since i work in the building, the proposal we've got on the table right now would allow us to get to the level five security much like the
partners space goblin and others around the world functioned like us. so, we are comfortable that putting in place a new building, not renovating the old one, but a brand-new one allows us to be able to kind of do both things, which is to take advantage of the location that we need and at the same time providing security. >> with respect to have to convince me that the reasons why the fbi and the gsa ha have rejected their earlier assessment that developing the current site regardless of the configuration would provide adequate security. that's the same reason we have the campus that we have. it just sort of doesn't compute but you'r your setbacks don't pe more security. the question will be what kind of security are you willing to give up. i want to go back to the questions about zte.
i understand you've maintained the same assessment is that right? >> yes. >> was was president trump thinking when he tweeted? >> we take very seriously protecting the national security, so we look through the lens of what kind of capacity providing a company that is beholden to another government that may not share our values. >> i wouldn't get into our discussions but i would say --
>> did the president reach out to you and the fbi before you send out his tweet on zte? if it took into account the advice asking the president and ask you. >> i'm not aware of any discussions of that sort. >> do you know if zte is accessed trade secrets and provide them to thprovided theme government collects >> is there any evidence of zte has accessed and stolen u.s. trade secrets and provided them to the u.s. government collects >> i'm not sure if there's anything i can say on that topic in this setting. >> my last question is related to senator shaheen. your colleagues indicated that they expect the russians will interfere in the midterm elections very much like they did before. when you testified in february
you indicated that the president has not directed you or the fbi to take any additional actions to confront russian interference. my question is have you heard from the president on that issue since february has he directed you and the fbi to enhance your operations in preparation for the midterm elections? >> as the white house has reported, we've met, a group of us. me, the department of homeland security, director of national intelligence, attorne attorney l and others did meet with the president mocked up long ago's o where he emphasized the importance of protecting our election from foreign interference. >> i'm going to send a written question regarding legislation senator rubio and i have introduced. >> the senator from west virginia, senator capito. >> just as i walked in you talked about your visit to west virginia. that was going to be my first question was to talk about the
division and th into the great k that they are doing their largest on the system, but on a lot of background checks etc.. i didn't know if there's anything you want to add that the facility. we are very proud of it in west virginia and the good work that gets done. >> i really enjoyed my visit out there and always uncovered so far about what's out there or the questions about the knicks, but as you know, there's theret of important work being done out there. everything from ncic and the crime reporting statistics, the codes on dna. there is just a lot out there. our public access line that takes calls from the public. it is just a thriving facility with great people working really hard and i was impressed with what i saw. >> we are certainly glad you are there. i would say my cohort from
maryland in talking about the headquarters i understand part of the plan on the headquarters remaining would be to move some of the existing employees are functions to other places one of which was clark's berg. did you have any thoughts about that collects >> for about a decade now, the fbi has been working on plans to move various functions and headcount out of the region including not just clark's berg, but huntsville and even quanti quantico. we would significantly expand the number of people in the headquarters building, so it is a combination of things. >> as you are aware, state and federal authorities executed a wide scale takedown operation of
the drug trafficking organization in huntington west virginia and detroit. it's a part of obligation saigon sunset. as a result, the officers apprehended 90s as the did drug suppliers and traffickers, 167 grams of cocaine for 760 grams of airlines, 450 grams of sentinel to preventabl -- fe. i want to thank you for what you've done and i understand every law enforcement officer that was any part of that area was a part of that. i just want to know is this typical that the fbi is doing around the country in terms of according to bu to bypass local resources to be able to catch these guys? thibecause literally, they are killing our people. >> this is a huge priority.
one of the things i tried to do is not spend all my time inside the beltway. i've been trying to get out and i'm determined to get to all of the offices by the end of this year. i'm making good headway and every office i go to his incredible work being done by the men and women of the fbi on some of the same issues that you are talking about, and it never fails to give me an extra spring in my step. we couldn't do it without our partners. that's the important piece. it is with hsi, state and local partners in particular. and in we have a lot of task force officers and we have about 500 some thing taskforces that's not even counting the joint terrorism task forces and about 4,000 task force officers which means from state and local law enforcement for example and through the resources the committee provides, we are
paying their overtime into the use of the vehicles etc. and frankly if you look at than her of officers that we work with every day and all of the field offices there's more officers and agents it's very much a team effort and we are grateful for their support. >> i think i stated earlier we can't do it without that leadership or the expertise and technology and everything that comes along with the good men and women of the fbi. >> we couldn't do it without the committees support quite frankly because everywhere i go, somebody has an idea of something the fbi should do more of. i haven't found very many people with good ideas of what the fbi should do less of, so we are stretched thin that we are working hard with our partners. >> thing you. >> i think we've known each other about 25 years and it's
great to see you in this role and i'm grateful for what you and the terrific men and women and the fbi do we in and out and their service and devotion to the country, the constitution and the rule of law. you are literally just discussing with the center of virginia you play a key part of making sure not just federal law enforcement is highly effective and beautiful americans safe regardless of their political leanings, race, religion or creed. when you took the oath last august you took it to protect the constitution, not any individual or party. and i have to say, i am deeply troubled by recent baseless attacks on the fbi. would you agree the effectiveness of the fbi depends on citizens? witnesses, jury, local law enforcement all being able to have trust in the fbi?
>> the people you listed are great examples of the opinions that matter to me the most and matter to our people the most. there's a lot of opinions about the fbi just like there are about everybody in this room, but the opinions that matter the most of the opinions are when the jury takes the stance the opinions of the magistrate judges when they bring a search warrant, the opinions of state and local partners and do they trust us to work with them. private-sector partners, community partners, judges as i mentioned before, victims and their families. they trust us? those are the opinions of people that know us through our work, and those are the opinions that matter to me and to our people. >> i hope that you do not find the opinions of some discouraging or dispiriting. it is hi this national police wk and we are all in the nation's capitol honoring the men and women of law enforcement across the country, but we have seen i think tragically a series of
public statements by president trump suggesting that the investigation into the russian interference in the 2016 election is a witchhunt. he said you look at the corruption of the top of the fbi is a disgrace. now, if this were just some comments there is a wide range of opinions it is beginning to have an impact and there is a pool that is released last week via the economist said 7% of democrats, independents and 61% of republicans said the fbi is screaming with the department of justice. 61% of republicans surveyed said that the fbi and the justice department are framing the president of the united states. that seems to me directly opposite of the care, the diligence of the professionalism of.
the field office in delaware here might serve in the senate. director, can i just ask you or the fbi and the department attempting in any way to frame the president of the united states? >> people i work with every day and i see inside it the fbi are committed to doing the right thing in the right way with professionalism, integrity, objectivity and courage. and so, while i recognize there are a lot of opinions out there, we don't focus on polls and surveys and studies. the focus on the opinions of the people that know us through our work and what i find when i go out and talk with people in the field on the front lines are the partners, the judges and prosecutors and victims, feedback i get uniformly is positive and supportive. >> i think you would get exactly the same feedback. the fbi is a highly valued part
of the local law enforcement community and a great contributor just last month in kansas three men were convicted obombing and an informant trustd the fbi and all the evidence despite attacks on the fbi. it is essential to the rule of law and i didn't mean to be review on the point i just think that we can't go without commenting on the fact that there is in my mind the study erosion in confidence and a cause of it is with the men and women of the fbi know that they have strong bipartisan support here in congress. we ask you one last question. my home community as i note you know face an epidemic of gun violence in recent years and one of the things we are trying to
do is make sure that we keep guns out of the hands of people prohibited and that is why i joined with the senator to introduce the notification act that requires the federal government to notify state and local law enforcement when a person prohibits or sales background check and last year the section denied 104,000 firearm transactions where people were prohibited by law attempted to buy. do you think it would be helpful for the law enforcement to notify the state law enforcement when someone was prohibited from owning a firearm and attempts to purchase one? ..
. >> obviously there's always a balance between the form -- we all feel in today's world and law enforcement that we want more information. we also get information. so we have to work through some of those issues. i will say on wilmington, as you may know, the task force we've had working there, i think there's been a 71% drop in gun crime, you know, in the last year. >> we're very hopeful. summer is just getting started. we're hoping that trend will hold. >> and then we had an arrest just yesterday actually there on a kidnapping murder charge related to one of the big gangs in wilmington. >> i'll forward you the bill. thank you for your indulgence. >> senator. >> thank you. i'll be quick. thank you for being here and thank you for what you do. and i want you to just reassure that i joined with the senator from delaware and the senator
from west virginia. my support for the good work that the men and the women of the fbi deal with every day. i certainly have my -- have had my differences with the fbi over the years, particularly as it related to the handling of former senator stephen's investigation and still not satisfied that the agency properly investigated the whistle blower who called attention to the misconduct in the investigation and the prosecution. but i want to make very clear, i have not lost faith in the fbi as an institution. i had an opportunity just a few months back to meet with the special agent in charge in anchorage and his senior team. but to look them all in the eyeball and just let them know
that we have great faith in the work that they do. and it is hard and it is difficult. and we worry. i worry about the morale of the men and women for some of the same reasons that you have heard here today. and i hope that the message that you convey back to them is that we need them to do the jobs that we have kept them to do. we respect the work that they have in front of them. and i was able to share my direct -- thanks. i wanted to speak just very quickly to the issue that really is front and foremost in the minds of many people in anchorage and around the state, our state has been dubbed most dangerous in the country. anchorage has one of the more dangerous cities. you don't think about that you think about alaska. but the homicides on per capita basis have put us in a category
of notoriety that we do not seek and we just change. we're seeing so much of this because of the drug violence that is coming with the trafficking that we're seeing. we have -- we're looking forward to what this high intensity drug trafficking area will -- program will bring to the area with some additional federal resourcing. so any increased attention we're able to receive when it comes to resourcing is pretty important, because we feel like we're at the end of the road there. but i would ask your senior team to look at whether alaska is being appropriately resourced to meet the federal law enforcement needs in the state. and brief my office on the findings. and specifically to coordinate with -- we've got a great u.s. attorney up there. we've got strong troopers.
we need more of our troopers, our police chiefs are maxed. but it's really when all of the partners come together that we're able to make some head way. and we capitalize on the resources that are made available. so i would just ask your folks to take a look at that situation in alaska. because, again, it's come on in unprecedented levels and at a time and a pace that is alarming to us. >> we would be happy to take -- i'd be happy to take a closer look at it. we have a great special agent in charge up there, as you mentioned. >> yes. >> i do think in general these issues are going to be solved or mitigated through a combination of partnerships, as you alluded to, and intelligence. partnerships meaning how can we figure out how all the different players, the feds, fbi, the different federal agency, state and local agencies can somehow get their two plus two to equal more than four. in other words, how do we get
synergies between them to maximize the impact and to hide the designation you described as part of that. and then intelligence, meaning let's figure out what's really driving the problem and focus the resources on impact. i think all too often historically in law enforcement people focus just on stats of number of arrests, et cetera, without necessarily taking that next step to figure out are you really addressing the core driver of the problem. and each city has its own unique idio sin kra sees. and we have to think a lot better and hopefully can bring a lot more to the table with the intelligence analyst to try to understand better what is it that is causing that spike in anchorage. >> i look forward to working with you. thank you for your leader man. thanks, chairman. >> senator murkowski, thank you very much. i want to take the moment to reassure you and the people that you lead, but more importantly the american people that we will do everything we can as members
of this sub committee, as appropriators and united states senators to see that the bureau is equipped to prevent and combat an ever changing landscape both here and abroad of criminal activity that can be and has been very devastating to the american people. we will take our responsibilities very seriously, and i look forward to developing a close working relationship with you in that regard. and i appreciate the partnership that exists between the fbi and other federal agencies, but particularly those agencies back home. my local and state law enforcement officials. and we've had significant success. i can name three off the top of my head just in the last few months in kansas as a result of that partnership between the fbi and local law enforcement. so we're very grateful to you and to the men and women that you lead. we are going to recess. my script says it's brief. but it will probably be longer than brief. but with no further questions this afternoon's open hearing is concluded. senators may submit additional
questions for the official record. i request the fbi's response within 30 days. the sub committee now stands in recess. we'll reconvene in the close and classified session to hear director wray in fbc217. i would intend to call that m t meeting to order shortly after the beginning of >> next to come up, your calls and comments on "washington journal." then newsmakers with california congressman adam schiff, ranking
member of the intelligence committee. after that, the ceremony working the opening of the u.s. embassy in jerusalem. q&a, university of liamnia history professor hitchcock on his book "the age of eisenhower: america and the world in the 1950's." >> i call of disciplined presidency. eisenhower was a disciplined man. a great athlete. and he was young. an organized man in every respect. here he methodical. that is also how he ran the white house. extremely organized. a lot of people including john stodgy criticized his notice for being so disciplined, organized, and predictable. for eisenhower it meant that when crises came, he had a plan.