FBI Director Christopher Wray refused to call the Russian probe a witch hunt on Wednesday, breaking with President Donald Trump‘s oft-repeated claim about the Special Counsel’s investigation.
During the FBI head’s testimony in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-VT), asked Wray about a statement he made during his confirmation hearing months ago referring to Trump’s insistence that the Russian probe was a witch hunt.
“You said at your confirmation hearing that the Russia investigation was not a witch hunt…Is that still your opinion?” Leahy asked.
Wray replied simply, “Yes.”
Wray’s statement remains largely unchanged from his confirmation hearing when Wray also refused to agree to Trump’s characterization of the probe.
“I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt,” then-nominee Wray said during a tense exchange with Sen. Lindsay Graham, (R-SC).
He also vowed at the time to keep the FBI an independent institution and stressed his loyalty would remain to the law and facts alone.
“If I am given the honor of leading this agency, I will never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law, and the impartial pursuit of justice. Period. Full stop,” Wray said back then. “My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law.”
Trump, who is known to value loyalty to him in his administration, last called the Russian probe a witch hunt on Tuesday.
Watch above, via ABC.
[image via screengrab]
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