Cybersecurity

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

Greg Nash

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday said President Trump 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 Reed (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.

{mosads}Wray — along with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats — 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 Mueller is leading a criminal investigation into the same subject.

Tags Dan Coats Donald Trump FBI Jack Reed Mike Pompeo Mike Rogers Robert Mueller

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