Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, slammed his cowboy boot on the table Thursday while questioning FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Wray was appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on a session focused on FBI oversight.
Soon after beginning his allotted time, Cruz cited a leaked FBI document on domestic terrorist symbols indicative of "militia violent extremism."
Included in the document was the Gonzales Battle Flag, from one of the first battles of the Texas Revolution in 1835 between Texas and Mexico. Also known as the "Come and Take It" flag, the Gonzales flag features a cannon with a star above and the aforementioned wording.
"I was particularly struck is the Gonzales Battle Flag — Come and take it — as indicative of being a violent extremist militia," Cruz said during his questioning of Wray.
"Well, I will self report right now [slams boot] that every day in the Senate, I wear my boots that have the Gonzales battle flag on the back of them.
"Director Ray, what are y'all doing? This makes no sense. Do you agree with this FBI guidance? That the Betsy Ross flag, and the Gadsden flag [from the American Revolution] and the Gonzales Battle Flag are signs of militia violent extremism?"
Wray responded that he was "not familiar" with the oversized copy of the alleged leaked document behind the senator, and was "not in the practice of trying to comment on documents that I haven't recognized."
"But 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," Wray said.
Cruz told Ray that groups such as antifa and Black Lives Matter were not included on the list, and "there’s a pattern of this."
The senator began his time by telling Wray that he was "deeply concerned that the FBI and the Department of Justice have become thoroughly politicized."
"I think this is a problem that began during the Obama administration," Cruz said, "I think it metastasized with career officials during the Trump administration, and I think it continues and is even worse today under the Biden administration.
"I don’t believe you, personally, reflect that politicization but I think you’ve been unwilling to root it out."
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