Trump's FBI director nominee breaks with him on Russia, says it's no 'witch hunt'

President Donald Trump's nominee to replace fired FBI Director James Comey, Christopher Wray, distanced himself on Wednesday from Trump's claim that the ongoing investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election is a "witch hunt."

During Wednesday's U.S. Senate confirmation hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Wray if he agreed with the president that, "In light of the Don Jr. emails and other allegations that this whole thing about the Trump campaign and Russia is a witch hunt?"

"Is that a fair distribution of what we are all dealing with in America?" Graham asked.

Top reactions to Donald Trump Jr.'s Russia emails:

Politicians, pundits sound off on Donald Trump Jr.'s emails
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Politicians, pundits sound off on Donald Trump Jr.'s emails
If this isn't treasonous, I'm not sure what is.
Is this Hillary Collusion??
Quick reminder: something doesn't have to be illegal for it to be foolish, wrong and un-American. @DonaldJTrumpJr
.@LindseyGrahamSC on CNN: I know Don Jr and Jared Kushner are new to politics but this is going to require a lot of questions to be answered
.@realDonaldTrump’s son & aides met w/ Russian agent to influence our election. That is a fact.…
.@MerriamWebster definition of #collusion: secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful p…
Liberal media in a frenzy because Donald Trump Jr released all his emails. Should've just deleted them. We know that's fine with them!
What seems interesting: Email tells Trump Jr. the effort is part of Russia government's efforts to help Trump. He doesn't ask questions.
"On its face, this email chain is proof of a willingness expressed by @DonaldJTrumpJr to collude with Russia" --@JakeTapper on @CNN
So...this is it right?
I consider my friend @DonaldJTrumpJr a honorable man in every sense of the word . 🇺🇸✌️
Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman says Trump Jr. emails are "almost a smoking cannon." Told me "there's no question this is treason."
.@matthewamiller: I don't know how anyone can come out and defend what is in these emails, whether republican or democrat #AMR
Graham: Trump Jr. "definitely has to testify"
Sen. Hatch says the Don Jr. emails are not "relevant" and "all this stuff about Trump's sons and daughter -- it's a bunch of bunk."
Statement from @VPPressSec on Donald Trump Jr meeting and @VP's knowledge
There's NO way Don Jr, Jared & Paul Manafort met w/ the Russian Gov't operative without advising Donald Trump in advance. HE'S GUILTY, TOO!
Tapper: "This can't be dismissed as people out to get Donald J. Trump Jr. or fake news. This is evidence of willing…
So, I just talked to Mark Warner:
Sen @ChrisMurphyCT on Don Jr: "For a long time we saw a lot of smoke but no fire, you're seeing the fire today."

Wray at first appeared to dodge the question, prompting Graham to press him again saying, "I'm asking you, as the future FBI director, do you consider this endeavor witch hunt?"

"I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt," Wray ultimately answered.

Trump's nominee for FBI director breaking with the president on this issue comes just hours after Trump again tweeted that the Russia investigation "is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history," while defending his son who tweeted on Tuesday possibly incriminating emails setting up a meeting with a Russian lawyer in an effort to obtain intel on 2016 election opponent Hillary Clinton.

"My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent," Trump tweeted.

However, legal experts claim Trump Jr.'s emails are "damning as a legal matter."

"The text of the emails provide very clear evidence of participation in a scheme to involve the Russian government in federal election interference, in a form that is prohibited by federal criminal law," said Ryan Goodman, a former Defense Department special counsel and current editor of the legal site Just Security.

"It's a shocking admission of a criminal conspiracy," Cornell University law professor Jens David Ohlin said on Tuesday.

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