China dismisses FBI's COVID lab link claim

STORY: China's government is dismissing new allegations from the director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a Wuhan laboratory.

A spokesperson said it has "no credibility whatsoever."

Wray's claim, the latest in a string of similar statements by American officials going back years to the Trump administration, underlines splits in opinion even inside the current U.S. government -- including the Biden White House.

Wray made the comments in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday. He said that the FBI had come to the Wuhan lab conclusion for "quite some time," but said he couldn't share many details because it was classified.

And that followed a weekend report by the Wall Street Journal that the Department of Energy had come to the same conclusion, although that agency reportedly had low confidence in its assessment.

This is not an opinion shared uniformly across the government. At least four other agencies, and a national intelligence panel, have said the pandemic likely had natural origins. Two others are undecided.

This was White House national security spokesman John Kirby on Monday:

"There is not a consensus right now in the U.S. government about exactly how COVID started (...) That work is still ongoing."

Wray became FBI director in 2017 after he was appointed by then-President Trump, who shared his belief in the Wuhan theory.

China's government has always denied it. On Wednesday its foreign ministry called it "political manipulation" and that the U.S. intelligence community had a "poor track record of fraud and deception."