That characterization contradicts the depiction from Trump, who in June singled out Antifa — short for “anti-fascists” and an umbrella term for far-left-leaning militant groups — as responsible for the violence that followed George Floyd's death.
Trump tweeted that the US would be designating Antifa as a terrorist organization, even though such designations are historically reserved for foreign groups and Antifa lacks the hierarchical structure of formal organizations.
The hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee — established after the September 11 attacks to confront the threat of international terrorism — focused almost entirely on domestic matters, including violence by white supremacists as well as anti-government extremists.
The topics underscored the shift of attention by law enforcement at a time of intense divisions and polarization inside the country.
But one area where foreign threats were addressed was in the presidential election and Russia’s attempts to interfere in the campaign.
Wray sought to make clear the scope of the threats the country faces while resisting lawmakers' attempts to steer him into politically charged statements.
When asked whether extremists on the left or the right posed the bigger threat, he pivoted instead to an answer about how solo actors, or so-called “lone wolves”, with easy access to weapons were a primary concern.
"We don’t really think of threats in terms of left, right, at the FBI. We’re focused on the violence, not the ideology,” he said later.