WASHINGTON — As the newly-installed FBI director, it was Christopher Wray’s party.

But guests gathered in the courtyard of the J.Edgar Hoover Building today for Wray’s formal installation as the eighth director of the venerable bureau spent at least part of the time scanning the crowd for potentially uncomfortable encounters involving a few highly-anticipated guests.

In the tradition of official Washington, the president and past directors of the FBI usually attend such celebrations.

President Trump was noticeably absent. So the awkwardness of possible confrontations with the FBI director he fired—James Comey—and the former director now leading an investigation that continues to shadow his administration—Robert Mueller—never materialized.

Comey, who was abruptly dismissed by Trump in May, and Mueller, who served as Comey’s predecessor, also did not attend the low-key, yet warm welcoming ceremony for the 50-year old director. Mueller is currently a special counsel leading an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with Trump associates.

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