President Trump has repeatedly called the investigation into Russian election meddling a “witch hunt,” but during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray said he does not believe that to be the case.
"I do not consider Director [Robert] Mueller to be on a witch hunt," Wray said in response to a question from Sen. Lindsey Graham about the Russia probe.
Wray’s response came amid a number of questions from Graham, including about Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with a Russian lawyer.
Graham used his time to press Wray on the latest revelations about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer.
Wray repeatedly indicated that he was not up to date on the latest revelations about the meeting, and Graham proceeded to read excerpts of the email chain between Trump's eldest son and Rob Goldstone, an entertainment publicist who represents Russian pop star and businessman Emin Agalarov.
Goldstone sought to set up the meeting on behalf of Emin, saying that a Russian lawyer had offered damaging information on Democrat Hillary Clinton. The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, is said to be connected to the Russian government, though she has denied it.
When asked by Graham if Trump Jr. should have taken the meeting, Wray replied, “I'm not really in a position to speak to it.” (The Hill)
The president defended his son Wednesday morning on Twitter after his interview with Sean Hannity Tuesday night, during which he explained the circumstances of the meeting. Trump again characterized the criticism as a “witch hunt.”
“My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!" he wrote.
Trump Jr. said during the interview the meeting was scheduled in June, before Russia hysteria set in.
"I don’t think my sirens went [off] or my antenna went up at this time because it wasn’t the issue that it’s been made out to be over the last nine months, ten months," he said.
Nevertheless, he said he said he “probably would have done things a little differently” if he could.
"In retrospect, I know more now, but hindsight’s always 20-20," he said.