Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner said Wednesday that the timing of President Donald Trump’s FBI director appointee is an attempt to “distract attention” from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearings on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump announced Wednesday morning on Twitter that he would be nominating Christopher Wray to be the new FBI Director. Former President George W. Bush previously appointed Wray as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division from 2003 to 2005, according to the Department of Justice.
I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI. Details to follow.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2017
“I don’t know Christopher Wray, I hear he’s a got a good reputation,” Warner told CBS. “Clearly this is an effort by the president to try to distract attention from our hearings today and our hearings tomorrow.”
Warner is vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He said that Trump’s reported attempt to get former FBI director James Comey to drop his investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was alarming, but not the only problem.
“We also have reports that he also asked the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the head of the [National Security Agency] Admiral Rogers to also back off or try to downplay the FBI investigation into Mr. Trump and his affiliates,” Warner said.
Rogers, Coats, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and current FBI Director Andrew McCabe are testifying before the Senate Intelligence panel Wednesday. Comey is scheduled to testify Thursday.
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