Donald Trump dropped his strongest hint yet that he could replace his own FBI director in their continued Antifa disagreement.
The president publicly criticised Christopher Wray this week for comments he made to Congress about Antifa and Russian interference in the upcoming elections.
Mr Wray angered Mr Trump when he told US lawmakers that he viewed Antifa as an ideology not a terrorist organisation, which put him at odds with the White House.
In the hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee, Mr Wray said that he regarded Antifa as a “real thing” but denied it was a terror group.
“We look at Antifa as more of an ideology or a movement than an organisation,” said Mr Wray.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Friday, Mr Trump took the opportunity to go after Mr Wray, who he appointed in 2017, and refused to rule out firing him.
“Antifa’s a bad group. And they’re criminals and they’re anarchists and they’re agitators and they’re looters and rioters,’ said Mr Trump.
“And when a man doesn’t say that, that bothers me. I wonder why he’s not saying that.
The president was then asked directly if he planned on firing him as FBI director.
“We’re looking at a lot of different things. I did not like his answers yesterday,” said Mr Trump.
“Im not sure he liked them either,I’m sure he would probably agree with me, Antifa is bad, really bad.
Trump also jabbed Mr Wray for testifying about Russia’s “very active efforts” to meddle in the upcoming election, but not China.
“The big problem is China, we can have others also and I’m not excluding anybody, but the big problem is China and why he doesn’t want to say that, that certainly bothers me.”
Moscow Azerbaijanis Slam Armenian Recruitment Drive in Karabakh Clashes
The Azerbaijani diaspora in Moscow has condemned its Armenian counterparts for recruiting volunteers to join ongoing fighting between the ex-Soviet countries over disputed territory, the group’s leader told the independent Dozhd television channel Monday.
At least 95 troops and civilians have been killed since Sunday in the worst clashes between the South Caucasus foes over the ethnic Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh since 2016. The fighting threatens to embroil Russia, which has post-Soviet ties to both countries, and Turkey, a staunch ally of Azerbaijan.
The Union of Armenians in Russia said earlier Monday that it had compiled a list of 20,000 volunteers willing to join the fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Azerbaijani Community of Moscow countered that the list of Armenian volunteers violates Russia’s law against illegal armed groups. Violations of this law are punishable by up to two years in prison under Russia’s Criminal Code.
The Azerbaijani diaspora’s head Shamil Tagiyev told Dozhd that the group plans to file a criminal complaint with Russia’s Investigative Committee and Federal Security Service (FSB) in connection with Armenians in Russia leader Ara Abramyan’s words.
The Armenian Embassy in Moscow has said “there’s currently no need” for the involvement of Russia-based Armenians in the conflict. Around 2.5 million Armenians are estimated to be living in Russia, roughly the population of Armenia itself.
Both the Armenian and Azerbaijani diasporas in Russia have called on their members to steer clear of unauthorized public demonstrations and avoid provocations from either side.
In July, similar spontaneous gatherings following an escalation of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh led to mass violence, destruction of property and arrests.