During a Congressional hearing on Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that white supremacy is a “persistent” and “pervasive” threat to the United States.
Wray spoke candidly to the House Appropriations Committee, telling members, “The danger, I think, of white supremacist, violent extremism or another kind of extremism is of course significant.”
According to CNN, Wray reportedly said that the FBI was “aggressively” investigating the increase in cases that have been reported to the agency.
“We assess that it is a persistent, pervasive threat. We tackle it both through our joint terrorism task forces on the domestic terrorism side as well as through our civil rights program on the civil side through hate crime enforcement, “ Wray said.
As he continued, he spoke out against hate crimes and addressed Democrats concerns about its increase, which they attribute to Trump’s presidency.
“We are determined not to tolerate hate-filled violence in our communities, so we’re going to aggressively investigate those cases,” Wray said, adding that there has been an increase in “the reporting of hate crimes,” but that this doesn’t automatically mean more hate crimes were happening.
Wray instead suggested that FBI’s efforts to encourage the public to report hate crimes could be producing more results.