The Texas Republican was venting his anger following the publication of what was reported to be an FBI training aid that appears to single out Trump supporters for special targeting.
Cruz became so disgruntled at one point he slammed his boot on a table and denounced the agency as having become “thoroughly politicized” under Wray’s leadership.
The FBI director was taking questions by senators when Cruz asked about a document leaked to investigative journalism organization Project Veritas which he pointed out “listed various symbols and themes which in the FBI’s estimation were indicative of ‘militia violent extremism.'”
According to a video clip of the exchange posted online, Cruz pointed out that, according to the alleged FBI training document, the symbols included the Betsy Ross flag — an early design of the American flag consisting of 13 stars in a circle — the Gadsden “Live Free Or Die” Flag and the Gonzales battle flag. At that, Cruz took off one of his boots and slammed it on the table to show Wray that it depicted the Gonzales flag.
“Well, I will self-report right now that every day in the Senate, I wear my boots that have the Gonzalez battle flag on the back of them,” he said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slams his boot on the table in opposition to FBI guidelines on symbols that indicate violent extremist groups:
“I will self-report right now that everyday in the Senate I wear my boots that have the Gonzales battle flag on the back.” pic.twitter.com/HxsqbEXaqJ
— The Recount (@therecount) August 4, 2022
“Director Wray, what are y’all doing? This makes no sense,” Cruz continued as he turned to point to a graphic mock-up behind him of the training aid sent to Project Veritas.
“Do you agree with this FBI guidance?” Cruz asked.
In response, Wray claimed (of course) that he was not familiar with the particular training aid Cruz was referencing and as such, he could not comment on it specifically.
The FBI director added: “I will tell you that when we put out intelligence products, including ones that reference symbols, which we do across a wide variety of contexts, we usually make great pains, take great pains to put caveats and warnings in the document that make clear that a symbol alone is not considered evidence of violent extremism.”
“Director Wray, you don’t include things like Antifa. You don’t include things like Black Lives Matter. Instead, you identify patriotic Americans as suspect," Cruz said in reply, again referencing the FBI training document.
“It is our usual practice to decline comment on articles about allegedly leaked FBI documents, internal FBI products, or information shared with law enforcement partners. In this case, we would point out an online article referencing an allegedly leaked document on symbols that may be used by Militia Violent Extremists (MVE) contains the following words highlighted in bold near the top of the document: The use or sharing of these symbols alone should not independently be considered evidence of MVE presence or affiliation or serve as an indicator of illegal activity, as many individuals use these symbols for their original, historic meaning, or other non-violent purposes.”
It’s not clear which “online article” the FBI was referring to. However, The Epoch Times reported on Wednesday regarding the training aid leaked to Project Veritas and included a graphic. The outlet noted:
The “Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide” was leaked to Project Veritas, which released images of the bulletin on its website and social media on Aug. 2. It includes such common images as the Gadsden flag, the Betsy Ross flag, and the Liberty Tree.
The FBI is a compromised, politicized agency. Cruz is right to point that out.