FBI chief: Trump hasn't specifically directed me to stop Russian meddling in midterms

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE hasn’t directed him to stop Russian efforts to interfere in this year’s midterm elections.

“We’re taking a lot of specific efforts to blunt Russian efforts,” Wray said when Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one Schumer: Trump should cancel meeting with Putin Senate votes to support NATO ahead of Trump summit MORE (D-R.I.) asked if he’d been directed by Trump to do so.

“As directed by the president?” Reed interjected.

“Not as specifically directed by the president,” Wray responded.

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Wray — along with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo: Talks with North Korea on returning war dead ‘productive and cooperative’ Trump: Why isn’t ‘fake news’ talking about North Korea? Trump’s arms export rules will undermine US security and risk human rights abuses MORE, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersCongress takes smart steps to make space launch reusability the norm Authoritarian threats to American democracy demand urgent action Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks MORE and Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsTop Democrats request meeting with intel chief over sharing of classified info Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war NSA deletes scores of call records over ‘technical irregularities’ MORE — spoke at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about threats to U.S. national security. 

Reed asked each official whether they had received specific direction from Trump to blunt Russian meddling efforts during future elections. The officials indicated they had not received that directive from the president, but that Trump expects them to carry out their intelligence duties, including getting ahead of threats from Russia and others.

Coats told the committee there “should be no doubt” that Russia believes it was successful in influencing the 2016 election and will target the 2018 election in a similar fashion. 

The Senate Intelligence Committee is one of multiple congressional panels carrying out separate investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE is leading a criminal investigation into the same subject.