Trump's FBI pick suggests Donald Trump Jr should have gone to agency over Russia meeting

'I think it would be wise to let the FBI know,' Christopher Wray says

Emily Shugerman
New York
Wednesday 12 July 2017 16:53 BST
Trump's FBI pick suggests Donald Trump Jr should have gone to agency over Russia meeting

President Donald Trump’s nominee for FBI Director has said it would be “wise” to consult with the FBI in a situation like that faced by Mr Trump’s son, Donald Jr.

Former Assistant Attorney General Christopher Wray spoke out about the issue at his recent Senate confirmation hearing. The hearing came shortly after Mr Trump Jr revealed he had arranged a meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who claimed to have information on his father’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Asked if he would have accepted such a meeting, Mr Wray responded, “I would think you'd want to consult with some good legal advisers before you did that”.

Upon further questioning, he added: “I think it would be wise to let the FBI know”.

News of the meeting has renewed interest in allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia, and will likely become a focus of ongoing Senate, House, and Justice Department investigations into the issue.

Mr Trump Jr recently published a string of emails between himself and a Russian intermediary, after The New York Times revealed the existence of their June 2016 meeting.

In the emails, the intermediary suggests a meeting with a “Russian government lawyer” who possesses "official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia".

"If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Mr Trump Jr responded.

The revelations drew outcry from legislators on the left and right, many of whom felt it showed an unacceptable level of cooperation with a foreign government. Senator Tim Kaine, Ms Clinton’s former running mate, went as far as to say Mr Trump Jr may have committed treason.

Mr Wray, however, remained reserved during his hearing, giving only vague answers to Senator Lindsey Graham’s line of questioning on the issue.

At one point, the Senator appeared to become frustrated with Mr Wray, telling him: “You’re going to be the director of the FBI, pal.”

“So here’s what I want you to tell every politician,” he continued. “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.”

Mr Wray obliged, telling the 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.”

“So I’ll take it that as, we should call you. And that’s a great answer,” Mr Graham replied.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in