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

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' 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 ReedNew York Times: Trump mulling whether to replace Mattis after midterms Overnight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war Senators press Trump administration on Yemen civil war 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 PompeoGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Graham knocks South Korea over summit with North Shrapnel in Yemen strikes links US-made bombs to 63 civilian deaths: report MORE, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law Former NSA chief refutes report claiming Trump asked him to publicly deny Russia collusion Michigan college Dems sue state over voting laws, claim they discriminate against young people MORE and Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsDem lawmakers slam Trump’s declassification of Russia documents as ‘brazen abuse of power’ Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Cuomo wins and Manafort plea deal 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.