FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday pushed back on social media threats made against him and other law enforcement officers, following his agency’s unprecedented search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
On Monday, the FBI executed a “raid” on Trump’s Florida home and by that night, droves of social media posts criticized the incident and accused the bureau of being politicized in nature. Some messages also called for violence towards Wray, a massive uprising, and even a civil war.
“I’m always concerned about threats to law enforcement,” Wray said Wednesday, condemning the posts. “Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with.”
He called the threats “deplorable and dangerous.”
The remarks were made after a news conference at the agency’s field office in Omaha, Nebraska, where Wray provided comments about the FBI’s focus on cybersecurity.
At the presser, Wray declined to comment further or answer any questions about why FBI agents spent hours on Monday searching Trump’s Palm Beach resort. This was the first time in U.S. history that the FBI has conducted such a search at the residence of a former president.
Since Monday, scores of messages have been seen on Twitter, Gab and TRUTH Social calling for violence across the country.
Authorities monitoring these posts spotted a significant increase in death threats aimed toward Attorney General Merrick Garland, Wray and FBI agents, sources told Fox News.
Both Garland and Wray travel with armed security.
A post on Gab said, “All it takes is one call. And millions will arm up and take back this country. It will be over in less than 2 weeks.”
Another said, “Lets get this started! This unelected, illegitimate regime crossed the line with their GESTAPO raid! It is long past time the lib socialist filth were cleansed from American society!”
Trump and several top Republicans have demanded answers from the FBI and the Justice Department on why the search was conducted and what property was seized.
“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, was raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump said Tuesday in an email sent by Trump’s Save America political action committee.
“The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to the events of Monday,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday. “Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice should already have provided answers to the American people and must do so immediately.”
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said the “raid” could lead to Garland’s impeachment, should an investigation find he misused his office.
“Without question, I think the order to allow the raid on Mar-a-Lago on Trump’s house has to be revealed. It’s going to have to wait until November till there’s a full investigation,” Paul said on “Fox & Friends.” “And I’ve never been a fan of overusing impeachment, but I think there has to be an investigation. And if it warrants it, there’s going to have to be a look at whether or not the attorney general has misused his office for political purposes. Have they gone after a political opponent? I mean, this is beyond the pale.”
“No one would have ever imagined before that we would be using or one political party would be using the FBI to attack their political opponents. Now, this is really something that’s going to require an investigation. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the investigation leads to abuse of power that this could even lead to an impeachment of the attorney general,” he added.
The raid was part of an investigation into whether Trump took classified documents to Mar-a-Lago, according to people familiar with the matter.