FBI Director Chris Wray said Thursday that the bureau is seeing “an extensive amount of concerning online chatter” about events with the potential for violence surrounding next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenCotton: Senate lacks authority to hold impeachment trial once Trump leaves office Marjorie Taylor Greene says she will introduce impeachment articles against Biden ICE acting director resigns weeks after assuming post MORE.
“Right now, we’re tracking calls for potential armed protests and activity leading up to the inauguration,” Wray said at a briefing with Vice President Pence at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“And the reason I use the word potential is because one of the real challenges in this space is trying to distinguish what’s aspirational versus what’s intentional,” Wray continued. “We’re concerned about the potential for violence at multiple protests and rallies planned here in D.C. and at state capital buildings around the country in the days to come that could bring armed individuals within close proximity to government buildings and officials.”
Wray’s comments come after the riot on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, where Trump supporters stormed the building while a joint session of Congress was meeting to certify the electoral votes affirming Biden as the next president. Numerous people sustained injuries in the mayhem, and several people died, including one Capitol Police officer.
Pence opened Thursday’s briefing at FEMA by assuring the public that Biden’s inauguration would be safe despite rising safety concerns after the Capitol riots. Pence is expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony, but President TrumpDonald TrumpCotton: Senate lacks authority to hold impeachment trial once Trump leaves office Marjorie Taylor Greene says she will introduce impeachment articles against Biden ICE acting director resigns weeks after assuming post MORE, who has for months fomented anger among his supporters by falsely claiming the election was stolen, will not be in attendance.
“We all lived through that day of January the 6th,” Pence said. “And as the president made clear yesterday, we are committed to an orderly transition, and to a safe inauguration, and the American people deserve nothing less.”
Biden was briefed by the FBI and Secret Service on Wednesday about potential security threats to his inauguration, his transition team said. Lawmakers were briefed earlier this week on four armed threats targeting the Capitol, White House and Supreme Court. One Democrat described it as “the most chilling hour imaginable.”
Officials at Thursday’s briefing expressed confidence in their ability to keep Wednesday’s inauguration secure. In the days since the riots, fencing has gone up around the Capitol building and the Supreme Court, and members of the National Guard have been stationed at the Capitol.
Secret Service Director James Murray told Pence that his…
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