Gov. Rick Scott (R) said Friday that FBI Director Christopher Wray must resign from his position at the bureau after the agency announced it had mishandled a tip that came in six weeks ago fingering accused Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz as a grave threat.
What's the background?
Cruz was booked Thursday on 17 charges of premeditated murder after Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, took the lives of at least 17 people and injured many more.
The FBI on Friday announced that they had received a tip in early January from a person who alleged to be close to Cruz and who reported information on "Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting."
The FBI, however, failed to handle the tip properly and never notified the FBI Miami Field Office, which would have investigated such a report.
Wray, in a statement, said, "We are still investigating the facts. I am committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in this particular matter, as well as reviewing our processes for responding to information that we receive from the public. It’s up to all Americans to be vigilant, and when members of the public contact us with concerns, we must act properly and quickly.
"We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy," Wray's statement continued. "All of the men and women of the FBI are dedicated to keeping the American people safe, and are relentlessly committed to improving all that we do and how we do it."
What did Scott say?
Scott, in a statement issued Friday, addressed the FBI's admission of mishandling the Cruz tip, calling the bungle "unacceptable."
"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.'"
Scott added, "Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn't going to cut it. 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."
He concluded, "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."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday acknowledged the FBI's failure and released a statement announcing that he ordered Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to "conduct an immediate review" of the Department of Justice and the FBI's approaches to reviewing any potential 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."