FBI Director Nominee: Mueller Is Not on a 'Witch Hunt' in Russia Probe
FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray said at his Senate confirmation hearing this morning that he does not view Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation as a "witch hunt."
The remark came during questioning by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who peppered Wray with numerous questions concerning allegations of collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia.
"Do you consider this endeavor a witch hunt?" Graham asked.
"I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt," Wray answered.
He also said he was unsure of whether President Trump could legally fire Mueller, but would look at it further and report back to the Senate panel.
Trump has repeatedly referred to the Russia collusion allegations as a "witch hunt," including in a tweet this morning.
My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2017
After being asked about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer - where he sought to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton - Wray said the FBI should have been notified of the Russian contact.
"To the members of this committee, any threat or effort to interfere with our elections from any nation-state or any non-state actor is the kind of thing the FBI would want to know," said Wray.
He also said he has "no reason to doubt" the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta's emails.
At the start of his questioning, Graham also pointed out an article from January on Ukraine trying to help the Clinton campaign expose Trump's ties to Russia and question his fitness for office.
Wray agreed that any foreign government involvement in a U.S. election is wrong and he'd be "happy" to look into the matter.
Wray was also asked whether he would have acted in the same way as former FBI Director James Comey.
Graham pointed to Comey's news conference in which he announced he would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton over her private email server.
"I can't imagine a situation where as an FBI director, I would be giving a press conference on an uncharged individual, much less talk in detail about it," said Wray.
Watch the Q-and-A above.