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Confirmation hearing today for FBI director nominee

Confirmation hearing today for FBI director nominee

"Is Russia our friend or our enemy", asked Senator Lindsey Graham. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who peppered Wray with numerous questions concerning allegations of collusion by the Trump campaign with Russian Federation.

"So here's what I want you to tell every politician", he continued.

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Wray confronts the same high-wire balancing act that other Trump picks, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, faced during their hearings: demonstrating his independence from Trump without alienating him. He said he's never been asked, nor would he give, the president a loyalty pledge, as Trump allegedly asked Comey for. Wray said Trump made no demand for loyalty from him, and he would not offer it if asked.

The back-and-forth with lawmakers on Wednesday focused extensively on the Russian Federation investigation, with Wray repeatedly voicing his respect for Mueller and his work.

"I believe to my core that there's only one way to this job", Wray replied. "And that is with strict independence".

Early in the hearing, Wray said he would lead the agency "without fear, without favoritism and certainly without regard to political influence".

Would you stand up to the president if necessary? Did the president also ask for a similar commitment from Wray? "And if that failed, I would resign", Wray replied.

Would you meet privately with the president if asked? "They have been my guideposts throughout my career, and I will continue to adhere to them no matter the test", Wray said. Wray eventually said he would not have done either of those things. "Who do you go to?" I want you to be Socrates. "Is that a fair description of what we're all dealing with in America?"

Trump's allies have tried to discredit Mueller as Trump has toyed with firing him; Wray says Mueller is a "consummate straight shooter".

"That is a great answer", Graham said.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director testified Trump told him during a private dinner that "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty" - and Wray is likely to be pressed on whether he, too, faced a similar loyalty oath.

In a particularly spirited exchange with Sen.

Does Trump have the authority to fire Director Mueller? Trump has said his decision was at least in part due to the FBI's investigation into his campaign's ties to Russian election meddling.

He was questioned about his relationships with Comey and Mueller. That happened after Comey's firing.

Wray's comments came under questioning by Sen.

Noting the FBI investigated former Secretary of State Clinton's unclassified email server, Hatch asked Wray how he would handle the disclosing of top-secret information.

"I don't know", Wray told Leahy. Al Franken, D-Minn., are taking it up in the Senate.

That's always a sensitive issue when it comes to federal law enforcement.

Wray's resumé pales in comparison to those that his predecessors had under their belts before assuming the role of FBI Director.

Wray previously was assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush.

David Cole, the national legal director of the ACLU, said Wray's responses to notices about mistreatment have been redacted, so it's not clear what, if anything, he did about the problems.

Donald Trump Jr. has struck back against reports of his meeting with a Russian lawyer, writing on Twitter on Tuesday that the news media and Democrats were full of "desperation". Wray's testimony comes one day after Donald Trump Jr. released emails from past year arranging a meeting with a Russian lawyer to discuss what was to be "high level and sensitive information" that was allegedly a "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump" during the presidential campaign.