FBI Director Christopher Wray says President Trump has never told him to look into the federal Russia probe but does not deny reports that he threatened to resign after he encouraged to fire people under his charge, reports The Washington Examiner.
“He’s never asked me to do anything with the Russia investigation,” Wray told NBC News’ Pete Williams in an interview clip shown on Tuesday.
Wray’s assertion stands in stark contrast to that of former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Trump last year. Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last June that Trump requested his loyalty and pressed him to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
After Comey was kicked out, the Washington Post reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has expanded his investigation to look at possible obstruction of justice.
Trump has long asserted that this Russia investigation is nothing but a “witch hunt,” aimed at discrediting him and his 2016 campaign, but the White House rejects reports that Trump is considering firing Mueller.
EXCLUSIVE: FBI Director Christopher Wray responds to questions about the Russia investigation and whether he threatened to resign over being urged to fire people.
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) March 20, 2018
During the same interview with NBC News, Wray declined to refute reporting earlier this year that said he threatened to resign from his post amid pressure to fire people.
“You know, 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 unwaveringly committed to doing this job by the book, independently — following our rules and our processes free from political or partisan influence,” Wray said.
“So, it sounds like you’re saying those reports are not wrong,” Williams said.
“I’m not going to talk about specific conversations,” Wray said.
In January, reports emerged that Wray had warned he would step down as he was urged by Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire his deputy, Andrew McCabe. That effort was reportedly diffused after White House counsel Don McGahn told Sessions firing McCabe was not worth it if ti meant Wray would leave.
But alas, McCabe was fired on Friday by Sessions, less than 48 hours before he was able to retire with a full pension. He was under internal investiagtion over the FBI’s role in the federal inquiries during the 2016 election.