Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray: The president 'never asked me to do anything with the Russia investigation'

  • FBI Director Christopher Wray says he feels no undue pressure from President Donald Trump when it comes to the Russia investigation.
  • Wray sat down with NBC News on Tuesday night to offer some insight into how he views his role at the FBI, which has been one of Trump's central targets in his frequent attacks on the probe of Russia's meddling in the 2016 US election.
  • Trump has publicly castigated senior officials in the nation's top federal law-enforcement agencies because of his resentment toward the Russia probe — most notably going after Andrew McCabe, the former deputy FBI director who was forced out, and later fired, amid Trump's blistering broadsides.
  • When asked whether Trump had tried to sway him in any particular direction, Wray said: "He never asked me to do anything with the Russia investigation."


FBI Director Christopher Wray said he does not feel any undue pressure from President Donald Trump about the ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

"He never asked me to do anything with the Russia investigation," Wray said in an interview with NBC News on Tuesday night, just four days after his former deputy, Andrew McCabe, was fired, hours short of his retirement.

The question of undue pressure is particularly germane to Wray, a Trump appointee who replaced James Comey after the president fired him last May, because Trump is entrenched in a long-playing power struggle with some members of the federal law-enforcement community.

Trump's public resentment about the Russia investigation has prompted the president to throw rhetorical darts at several senior officials over the past year, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, McCabe, and, more recently, special counsel Robert Mueller, who Trump called out by name for the first time on Saturday.

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FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray sits during a meeting with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Christopher Wray testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be the next FBI director on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Christopher Wray, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the FBI, is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) meets with Christopher Wray, who U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated to be FBI Director, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Christopher Wray (L) is greeted by former Senator Sam Nunn as he arrives to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be the next FBI director on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Christopher Wray is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be the next FBI director on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Christopher Wray is seated prior to testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be the next FBI director on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18: Christopher Wray, President Trump's nominee to lead the FBI walks through the Senate subway at the US Capitol on July 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 13: U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) (L) meets with FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray (R) on Capitol Hill July 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. If confirmed, Wray will fill the position that has been left behind by former director James Comey who was fired by President Donald Trump about two months ago. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 13: U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) (L) meets with FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray (R) on Capitol Hill July 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. If confirmed, Wray will fill the position that has been left behind by former director James Comey who was fired by President Donald Trump about two months ago. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 12: Christopher Wray, nominee for FBI Director, testifies during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building on July 12, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 12: Christopher Wray, nominee for FBI Director, prepares for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building on July 12, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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Wray said he is unmoved by Trump's fits of pique:

"I have been very clear from the minute I was nominated to the minute I walked in the door to countless opportunities since then that I am always unwaveringly committed to doing this job by the books, independently, following our rules and processes free from political or partisan influence," the FBI director said.

Wray's words carry additional weight this week, with special counsel Mueller making strides in the multiple threads that comprise the Russia probe.

The FBI director's resolve has already been tested, according to a January report from the news website, Axios, which said that Wray threatened to resign over pressure he received from Sessions and Trump to fire McCabe.

But when asked Tuesday night about that alleged incident, Wray said "I'm not going to talk about specific conversations."

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