FBI Director James Comey, who has spent much of the past year awash in political controversies, on Wednesday vowed to serve the full term of his 10-year appointment.
“”You’re stuck with me for about another six-and-a-half years, and so I’d love to be invited back again,” Comey told a cybersecurity conference at Boston College.
Comey was appointed by former President Barack Obama in September 2013.
Comey was at the center of attention last summer when the FBI refused to charge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then running for president, over her use of a private email server while working at the State Department. Comey did, however, castigate Clinton and her team for being careless with sensitive information.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) March 8, 2017
In late October, Comey announced the FBI was reopening its probe, based upon the existence of information on a laptop belonging to Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. The announcement enraged Clinton supporters and has been cited by them as one reason she lost the election to President Donald Trump.
Trump recently accused the FBI of wiretapping him prior to the election. Comey has reportedly asked for an official statement form the Justice Department clearing him of that charge.
On Wednesday, Comey did not directly reference the issue of wiretapping, but spoke in general terms about cybersecurity threats to America.
FBI Director James Comey, head of America’s domestic surveillance agency, speaking today on privacy: pic.twitter.com/rJdbTfOdQl
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 8, 2017
“There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America; there is no place outside of judicial reach,” Comey said.
“Even our communications with our spouses, with our clergy members, with our attorneys are not absolutely private in America,” Comey said. “In appropriate circumstances, a judge can compel any one of us to testify in court about those very private communications.”
Comey said the nation is at risk from cyberattacks.
“The cyberthreats we face are enormous. I don’t know if we can stay ahead of them. And I think to say otherwise would be hubris,” Comey said.
“We need to ensure that cybersecurity is a priority for every enterprise in the United States at all levels,” he said.
“We need to get better and faster at sharing information in the appropriate ways. We need to make sure we have the right people on board to help fight that threat, and we need to build trust between the government and the private sector,” he said.
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