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

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA 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) Raymond ReedFBI chief: Trump hasn't specifically directed me to stop Russian meddling in midterms Live coverage: FBI director testifies to Senate Intelligence Committee Senate Dems demand answers on cost of Trump's military parade proposal 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 PompeoThe CIA may need to call White House to clarify Russia meddling Intel agencies to brief officials from all 50 states on election threats Russia probe complicating House hearing on threats facing US: report MORE, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersObama failed on Russia; Trump must get it right Why American politics keep rewarding failure Overnight Cybersecurity: Intel chiefs expect Russia to meddle in 2018 midterms | Wyden presses FBI chief on encryption | Trump to tap Army cyber chief as NSA director MORE and Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsTop state election official questions why Trump is downplaying threat of Russian election interference: report Russian bots turn to gun control after Florida high school shooting: report The case alleging Russian collusion is not closed 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.