(Ken Silva, Headline USA) As the FBI director, Chris Wray oversees a multibillion-dollar operation that deals with artificial intelligence, encryption, cryptocurrencies and other advanced technology.
But Wray didn’t even know how to listen to podcasts on his phone until recently.
That embarrassing fact was revealed on FBI Retired Case File Review, a show that typically dives into old bureau cases. For its 300th episode, the show’s host, retired agent Jerri Williams, interviewed Wray.
“It’s great to be here Jerri. I think the last time I saw you, you were getting an award at the G-Man Honors dinner,” Wray said at the beginning of the show.
Williams responded: “Actually, when we were sitting next to each other at dinner, I showed you how to pull up podcasts on your phone. And I know you’re a really busy person, but have you had the chance to listen to podcasts yet?”
Wray said he now listens to podcasts.
Most of the rest of the show was public relations for Wray, with him downplaying concerns about a weaponized justice system and claiming that morale at the FBI remains high.
“Our people are tough and resilient. And if you talk to our folks as I do when I’m out visiting field offices … What we hear over and over again is that we’re doing better than ever,” he said. “And that’s why our recruiting is up so significantly, and people want to work for the FBI in droves.”
Williams did ask Wray about the recent whistleblowers who have alleged corruption or malfeasance within the bureau.
Those whistleblowers include Kyle Seraphin, who has suggested that the bureau is suppressing information about the Jan. 6 pipe bomb investigation; Stephen Friend, who has alleged that the FBI reassigned agents from child pornography cases to go after Jan. 6 protestors; and Jonathan Buma, who alleged that the bureau prevented him from investigating ties between Rudy Giuliani and organized crime.
However, Wray just gave a boilerplate response, and Williams didn’t press him further.
“I recognize the important role that whistleblowers play, and I take very seriously our responsibility under the relevant rules and other protections for whistleblowers, which are something we train all of our folks on,” he said.
“Despite what some have claimed, the FBI has not and is not going to retaliate against individuals who make protected whistleblower disclosures.”
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.