BOSTON (AP) — FBI Director James Comey said today he plans to serve his entire 10-year term, even as controversy swirls over his attempt to rebut President Donald Trump’s claim that the Obama administration tapped his phones during the election.
“You’re stuck with me for another 6 1/2 years,” Comey said during a cybersecurity conference at Boston College.
Comey was appointed 3 1/2 years ago by then-President Barack Obama.
Controversy erupted last weekend after Trump tweeted that Obama had tapped his phones at Trump Tower during the election. Trump offered no evidence of his claim. Comey asked the Justice Department to publicly reject the allegation as false.
Comey did not reference the wiretapping controversy during his speech to law enforcement officials and private-sector business leaders.
He said the FBI is renewing a focus on the challenges posed by encryption. He said there should be a balance between privacy and the FBI’s ability to lawfully access information. He also said the FBI needs to recruit talented computer personnel who might otherwise go to work for Apple or Google.
“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. 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.