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

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpMexican presidential candidate vows to fire back at Trump's 'offensive' tweets Elizabeth Warren urges grads to fight for 'what is decent' in current political climate Jim Carrey takes aim at Kent State grad who posed with AR-10 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 ReedOvernight Defense: Trump aide's comment mocking McCain sparks outrage | Haspel gets another 'no' vote | Pompeo floats North Korea aid for denuclearization Politicians, media explode over White House aide's comments Senate Dems urge Trump to remain in Iran deal ahead of announcement 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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Wray — along with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoKim Jong Un surprises with savvy power plays Pompeo offers condolences for Pakistani exchange student killed in Texas shooting Trump nominates Pacific Command head as ambassador to South Korea MORE, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersSenate panel breaks with House, says Russia sought to help Trump win in 2016 Hillicon Valley: Trump stuns lawmakers with push to help Chinese company | Facebook suspends 200 apps over data practices | Dems want answers on Cohen payments | Senate net neutrality vote coming Wednesday Senate panel invites Comey, former officials to briefing in Russia probe MORE and Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsHillicon Valley: White House eliminates top cyber post | Trump order looks to bolster agency CIOs | Facebook sees spike in violent content | Senators push NIH on tech addiction | House to get election security briefing Trump picks billionaire military contractor to lead intelligence board Top Dem questions CIA campaign to secure Haspel nomination 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.