President Trump's nominee to be the next FBI director went against the president on Wednesday by saying he doesn't believe special counsel Robert Mueller is on a "witch hunt," Trump's term for the broad, ongoing efforts to investigate his alleged ties to Russia.
"I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt," Christopher Wray told Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., during questioning at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing.
In June, Trump blasted Democratic claims of Russian meddling in the 2016 election as a "phony story."
"They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice," Trump wrote in a June 15 tweet.
He later added: "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history — led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA."
Wray also answered questions from Graham on Russia, but said his knowledge of Russia's alleged interference and subsequent investigation is about the same as what the public knows. However, he added he has "no reason whatsoever to doubt the assessment of the intelligence community."
When pressed by Graham on if he considers Russia "our friend or our enemy," Wray danced around the question, but said, "In some situations, yes."
"I think Russia is a foreign nation that we have to deal with very warily," he said, although he noted that election interference is an "adversarial act."