FBI director Christopher Wray dismisses Russian President Vladimir Putin’s suggestions that U.S. investigators observe interviews of wanted suspects in Russia or that Russians observe FBI questioning of suspects in the U.S.
Amid a barrage of headlines about President Trump and Russian meddling in the 2016 election, FBI director Christopher Wray told NBC that Russia “continues to engage in malign influence efforts to this day,” USA Today reports. Trump’s response to a similar question was criticized Wednesday after he appeared to say that Russia was no longer targeting the U.S. Wray dismissed two ideas from Russian President Vladimir Putin, which Trump called “interesting.” The first was to have American investigators go to Russia to observe interviews of wanted suspects, including those indicted in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the election.
“I never want to say never, but it’s certainly not high on our list of investigative techniques,” Wray said. He said Putin’s other idea, to have Russians come to the U.S. to observe questioning of suspects wanted there, was “even lower on our list of investigative techniques.” Wray also took on the blistering Inspector General’s report on the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, calling it “fair” and explaining the biggest lesson he learned was that no matter how big or small an investigation is, the bureau always has to stick to the same policies. He is “unwilling to budge” on protecting the FBI’s sources and methods in its investigations, even with mounting pressure from Congress to delve into details of the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling. Wray called Mueller a “straight shooter” and said the Russia investigation he’s leading is “not a witch hunt,” a term Trump uses frequently.