Florida Gov. Rick Scott calls on FBI Director Chris Wray to resign
Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott is calling on FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign, after the FBI admitted it received a tip about the suspect in the Parkland shooting as recently as January, but failed to follow through on it.
The FBI admitted in a statement Friday that it received a call on Jan. 5 detailing concerns about Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old law enforcement officials believe is responsible for the deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this week. The FBI determined “protocols were not followed” when a tip was phoned into the FBI’s public access line, but was never forwarded to the FBI’s Miami field office and received no further investigation.
Scott called that “unacceptable” in a statement he issued Friday.
“The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable,” Scott said. “The FBI has admitted that they were contacted last month by a person who called to inform them of Cruz’s ‘desire to kill people,’ and ‘the potential of him conducting a school shooting.’
“Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn’t going to cut it,” Scott continued. “An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain. The families will spend a lifetime wondering how this could happen, and an apology will never give them the answers they desperately need.
We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act. ‘See something, say something’ is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow through from law enforcement. The FBI director needs to resign.”
Wray’s bureau is already under fire from the Trump administration over the Russia probe — which saw new indictments Friday against 13 Russians who tried to influence the 2016 presidential election — as well as over the surveillance of former Trump campaign official Carter Page.
January was also not the first time law enforcement received information about Cruz. A YouTube user told CBS News he reported a post that he believes was from the suspect to the FBI back in September.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions noted the FBI’s failures in a statement Friday. He has ordered Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to “conduct an immediate review” of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s approach to reviewing violent threats.
“It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed,” Sessions said. “We see the tragic consequences of those failures. The FBI in conjunction with our state and local partners must act flawlessly to prevent all attacks. This is imperative, and we must do better.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, called for congressional investigations of the FBI’s failure.
“It is inexcusable that the FBI failed to follow protocols and inform the Miami Field Office that people close to the Parkland, FL shooter warned the bureau over a month ago of his desire to kill, his mental state, and erratic behavior,” Rubio said in a statement.
“The fact that the FBI is investigating this failure is not enough. Both the House and Senate need to immediately initiate their own investigations into the FBI’s protocols for ensuring tips from the public about potential killers are followed through. Lawmakers and law enforcement personnel constantly remind the public that ‘if you see something, say something.’ In this tragic case, people close to the shooter said something, and our system utterly failed the families of seventeen innocent souls.”
Scott is considering a Senate bid in Florida to replace Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat.