Director refutes Trump on FBI's reputation

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WASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump says the FBI's reputation is in "tatters."

But agency director Christopher Wray says, "My experience has been that our reputation is quite good."

Wray is defending the nation's top law enforcement agency against Mr. Trump's attacks.

He's testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, where Democrats and Republicans are pushing him to respond to the president's criticism.

Wray said FBI employees "are big boys and girls."

"We understand that we will take criticism from all corners, and we are accustomed to that,” he said.

He says the agency he's led for just four months has the respect of its partners in state and local law enforcement, in the intelligence community, and in the communities it serves.

Wray says the president has never gone outside the chain of command to communicate with him directly, and has never asked him to pledge his loyalty to him.

Wray also says Mr. Trump has not spoken to him about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Former FBI Director James Comey has said that Mr. Trump asked him for his loyalty and spoke to him one-on-one multiple times.

Comey has said that during one of those private conversations, Mr. Trump told him he hoped he'd consider ending an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat.