FBI director nominee Wray: I don't think Russia probe is a 'witch hunt'

Key Points
  • FBI director nominee Christopher Wray says he does not consider the Russia investigation a "witch hunt."
  • President Trump on Wednesday called it "the greatest Witch Hunt in political history."
FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray: Mueller is not on a 'witch hunt'

President Donald Trump thinks the Russia investigation is a "witch hunt" — but his possible FBI chief does not share that view.

"I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt," FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department, is overseeing the federal probe into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign and the Kremlin coordinated. Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey in May and later said he did so while thinking about the "Russia thing."

After revelations that Donald Trump Jr., Trump's eldest son, went to a meeting with someone portrayed as a "Russian government attorney" offering dirt on Hillary Clinton last year, the president fumed on Twitter on Wednesday morning. He called the Russia probe "the greatest Witch Hunt in political history."

Trump: 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!

Comey testified in June that Trump asked him for loyalty shortly after taking office and later made a statement that Comey interpreted as a request to "drop" an investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn. Trump has denied making those statements.

Wray said he did not give anyone a pledge of loyalty and would not do so if he was asked.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked Wray if he would let the Judiciary Committee know if he witnessed or learned of "any efforts to interfere" with Mueller's work.

"Assuming that I can do it legally and appropriately, absolutely. I'm very committed to supporting Director Mueller in the special counsel investigation in whatever way is appropriate for me to do that," Wray said.

Pressed again by Feinstein, he said he "would consult with the appropriate officials to make sure that I'm not jeopardizing an investigation or anything like that. But I would consider an effort to tamper with Director Mueller's investigation to be unacceptable and inappropriate, and it would need to be dealt with very sternly and appropriately, indeed."