Nearly all Republican candidates for president have either pledged to reform the FBI’s top ranks upon taking office, or enact structural reforms.
One major GOP candidate, the former New Jersey governor, is the only one to be considered. Chris Christie has stated explicitly that he will not fire FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a former president Donald Trump and former vice president Mike Pence. Vivek Ramaswamy the entrepreneur, former U.N. Tim Scott, South Carolina Senator and Ambassador Nikki Haley have both pledged to remove the director from the Bureau as part of their overhaul plans. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Miami mayor Francis Suarez told the Daily Caller they were open to the idea of firing Wray, while the former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson said he would be “open” to “reforms”. Asa Hutchinson said that he was open to “reforms.”
Ramaswamy’s position is the most extreme on the FBI. Tricia McLaughlin, spokesperson for the Caller, said that he would “dismantle” the entire FBI.
Trump, DeSantis Haley, Pence, and Scott have all pledged to sack Wray, as well as other “corrupted” officials in the Bureau.
In a campaign video released in March, Trump said that a second term would “completely overhaul” the “weaponized departments and agencies” by “firing the corrupt actors within our National Security and Intelligence system.” He also promised to purge agents who investigated him.
DeSantis stated that he would “clean up the upper echelons” of the DOJ as well as the FBI and suggested moving the FBI’s headquarters from Washington, D.C.
“We know that the leadership has failed and we need new blood.” DeSantis stated that we also need an Attorney General who will have a strong backbone and be willing to stand up to the media, the left, as well as do what is right to ensure equality under the law.
Haley’s spokesman Ken Farnaso said to the Caller the former South Carolina Governor “would fire Director Wray in part of a bigger overhaul that would target both middle and senior management at the FBI”
Farnaso continued, “The double-standard of justice will be ended in a Haley Administration.”
Pence’s adviser told The Caller that the former vice-president “believes that the FBI has lost trust and confidence from the American people.” Pence previously stated he would choose a director for the FBI “who is respected on both sides of aisle.”
Scott told an Iowa townhall that the “average person working within the FBI rank-and-file are good people”, but that the “actual leadership of the FBI” should be fired.
Scott said, “There’s a culture in America that distorts, destroys and undermines the integrity and competency of the American people. This has to be eradicated.”
Suarez and Hutchinson said that they were open to reforms to restore the credibility of the FBI. However, the former Arkansas Governor said he would not go so far as to defund the FBI.
“I do not have a relationship with Director Wray. Suarez said that new leadership is needed in the next administration if serious reforms are to be successful to remove politics at all levels of the FBI.
Burgum’s spokesperson Lance Trover didn’t promise an explicit change in leadership of the FBI, but said that the candidate would do “whatever it takes” to restore trust in the FBI.
“Gov. Trover stated that Burgum believed the citizen’s (sic) faith in our institutions was the foundation of a just and free society. He will not allow the institutions to become a political extension of the power party as we have seen them in failed countries. “If Americans distrust the Justice Department, when he assumes office, he’ll do whatever it takes to restore their faith in that department and the other foundations of our democracy,” Trover said.
Christie, on the other hand, has taken a very different stance towards the FBI. He says that he does not believe that the FBI has been weaponized by President Joe Biden. Christie also said that he wouldn’t fire Wray. Wray was recommended by the former governor for Trump’s job.
Christie, on the other hand, has stated that “change is needed at the Department of Justice” and that, if he was president, “you’ll be assured that we will put in place an attorney general who will lead without favor or fear and remove anyone who shows partisanship.”
The FBI informed the Caller that it has no comment to make on the candidates who are calling for Wray’s removal.