Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said President Trump's Wednesday announcement of his pick for FBI director was meant to "distract attention" from the committee's hearings this week.
"Clearly this is an effort by the president to try to distract attention from our hearings today and our hearings tomorrow," the Virginia senator said. "I think we're going to hear some pretty interesting things this morning."
Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday morning his intent to nominate Christopher Wray, a former assistant attorney general under former President George W. Bush, for director of the FBI.
The president's announcement came just hours before the Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hear from Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
"Clearly this is an effort by the president to try to distract attention from our hearings today and tomorrow," @MarkWarner says. pic.twitter.com/AMAB5muM7C— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) June 7, 2017
Former FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify before lawmakers on the panel Thursday and is expected to outline discussions he had with Trump regarding the Russia probe.
Both hearings are highly anticipated, as the officials are expected to shed more light on the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the election, and ties between Trump's campaign associates and Russian officials.
Though Trump surprised many with his announcement regarding the new FBI director, Warner said revelations from the two hearings could render Trump's attempts to distract ineffective.
"If we have today evidence of a pattern of the president trying to intervene, and then tomorrow with even more direct evidence when Jim Comey gets to tell his story, I think all these efforts to distract the public that the president may be throwing up probably aren't going to work," Warner said.