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

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday said President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 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 Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill What the gun safety debate says about Washington Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings 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 PompeoChina threatens to sanction US firms over sales of F-16s to Taiwan Trump moves forward with billion F-16 sale to Taiwan Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: House panel subpoenas 8chan owner | FCC takes step forward on T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Warren wants probe into FTC over Equifax settlement | Groups make new push to end surveillance program House Homeland Security Committee subpoenas 8chan owner Hoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post MORE and Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray Coats10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall 11 Essential reads you missed this week Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move 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 (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE is leading a criminal investigation into the same subject.