Sen. Lindsey Graham grilled Christopher Wray, President Donald Trump’s pick for FBI director, over the president’s campaign ties to Russia during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday morning.
The South Carolina Republican first briefly asked Wray if he was aware of reports that in 2016, allies of Hillary Clinton’s campaign worked with Ukrainian embassy officials to compile damaging information on Trump and his campaign.
Graham noted that while he has “no idea if [the reports] are true,” he asked that if true, would Wray agree “that it is wrong for the Ukraine to be involved in our elections?”
Wray agreed, and said he would be happy to look into the matter.
After that dash of fairness and balance, Graham moved swiftly on to recent reports that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer with the intention of soliciting damaging information on Clinton from the Russian government.
Graham read the email exchange setting up the meeting before the committee, which was released by Don Jr. on Wednesday.
“Should Donald Trump Jr. have taken that meeting?” Graham asked.
Wray hesitated to answer, advising Don Jr. to consult with legal advisers before accepting such a meeting.
“You’re going to be the director of the FBI pal,” Graham interjected. “Here’s what I want you to tell every politician: if you get a call from somebody suggesting that a foreign government wants to help you by disparaging your opponent, tell us all to call the FBI.”
“To the members of this committee, any threat or effort to interfere with our elections from any nation state or any non-state actor is the kind of thing the FBI would want to know,” Wray replied, an answer that satisfied Graham.
Graham then pressed on Don Jr.’s misleading comments on his meeting with the Russian lawyer, but Wray declined to say whether Don Jr. had been misleading.
“Is Russia our friend or our enemy?” Graham then asked, and Wray admitted that Russia had acted in an adversarial way when they meddled in the 2016 election.
Graham then moved on to questions about former FBI director James Comey, who Wray is set to replace.
Watch the exchange above, via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
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