FBI Director Christopher Wray was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on the “politicization of the nation’s preeminent law enforcement agency” under his and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s direction.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) opened the hearing by outlining various allegations against the FBI – from the role the bureau played in social media companies suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020 to how whistleblowers have been treated to the now-withdrawn memo from the FBI’s Richmond field office on extremism in the Catholic Church.
On Wednesday’s show, 2024 GOP presidential candidate and former governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley joined Megyn to discuss Wray’s testimony and why she believes he needs to go.
Why Haley Supports the Congressional Hearings
Wray was appointed in 2017 by former President Donald Trump, but he has drawn the ire of the right for the perceived politicization of the agency – something many Republican members of the Judiciary Committee pressed him on during the hearing.
While he inherited an already devolving situation from former-FBI Director James Comey, Wray has overseen the department through the investigations into Biden family corruption as well as the raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence last summer that led to his most recent indictment. Many believe there has been a double standard in how these cases have been handled.
Haley told Megyn she supports the hearings. “I’m glad to see them having these hearings,” she said. “The American people have lost complete trust in our intelligence departments, in our intelligence agencies, and in the Departments of Justice.”
Many of Wray’s responses involved him telling the committee that he would get back to them at a later date, and Haley said that is not good enough. “I appreciate and applaud Congress for having this oversight hearing, but be firm with Christopher Wray – he owes us a lot of answers, and he needs to give it in a timely manner,” she noted. “These are serious issues that we need serious answers to.”
What’s Wrong with U.S. Intelligence
Like many of her fellow 2024 GOP hopefuls, Haley has said on the campaign trail that she would fire Wray if she becomes president as part of a larger overhaul of the intelligence community – a message she expounded upon with Megyn. “I don’t think it’s just Chris Wray that we have to get rid of,” Haley said. “I think you have to get rid of all senior management. You have to go back to the mission.”
During her time as governor of South Carolina, Haley said she replaced the heads of many state agencies with people who were specifically focused on streamlining bureaucracy and eliminating “problem children.” Some agencies were “tweaked,” others were “gutted,” she added.
Looking at the FBI specifically, Haley said major changes are in order. “This is an agency that’s going to need a serious overhaul because the whole mission has been compromised,” she explained. “We’ve got to make sure that they go back to understanding politics should never be in our intelligence agencies.”
In her view, there needs to be a renewed focus on foreign intelligence. “I also question really just the way they’re going about gathering information from our threats that are abroad,” she said. “I don’t think that they’ve been as strong on that, and I think it’s because they’ve been so distracted with everything going on politically in our own country.”
How to Restore Trust in the FBI
The FBI and intelligence community at large has an image problem. “That’s why I think Christopher Wray has to go – the trust is gone so you have to get rid of him,” Haley shared. But it goes beyond just Wray. “I also think that you have to look at anybody that’s been a part of what has happened with the Bidens and any of these other issues that have come about whether it’s… gun ownership or Catholic issues,” she continued. “You have to get rid of them because you can’t have any bad eggs.”
It is going to take a strong leader to simultaneously clean house and restore trust. “The way you do it is you put someone in that you know is going to be completely away from the politics, understand that this is about morale, this is about also making sure that you are at the top of your game in terms of getting all of the intelligence that you need to have and that you are prepared to clean house the way you want to,” Haley concluded. “But more than that, you have to bring trust back to the agency.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Haley by tuning in to episode 586 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.