Trump FBI pick says no one asked him for 'loyalty oath'

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Wray's responses seemed to satisfy both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, many of whom signaled their support for him.

Graham tried to corner Wray on whether Donald Trump Jr. should have taken a meeting with a Russian official over information that allegedly was harmful to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Initially, Trump cited a letter from the deputy attorney general detailing Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation. Comey had been overseeing the FBI's investigation of Russian meddling in last year's presidential election and possible ties between some top aides of the Trump campaign and Russia.

"My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law", Wray told lawmakers during his opening statement, apparently referring to Trump asking Comey to pledge loyalty to the president.

When asked if he discussed Comey's firing, he said "I did not discuss those topics at all with anyone in the White House".

"And I as sure as heck didn't offer one", Wray said.

Wray repeatedly vowed independence, saying he would be "faithful to the Constitution".

Former colleagues and friends describe Mr. Wray as a low-key straight shooter who is unafraid to take on tough cases.

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"Based on press reports and the president's own words, the reason Mr. Comey was dismissed was because he would not pledge his loyalty to the president and he would not lift the cloud of the Russian Federation investigation", she said.

Under questioning by minority whip Dick Durbin, Wray said that a one-on-one meeting between an Federal Bureau of Investigation director and a president would be "unusual".

Senators questioning Wray wanted to be assured that he will be unbiased especially if asked for a pledge of loyalty as his predecessor, fired FBI Director James Comey, was allegedly asked by Trump.

Wray came up as a top official in the Justice Department under George W. Bush, before going into private practice.

Wray, who most recently has enjoyed a lucrative legal career at an worldwide law firm, also faced questions about his work as a top Justice Department official in the Bush administration. Rosenstein, Wray recalled, made the observation that when he was first contacted about the job, Special Counsel Mueller had been "appointed to deal with the issue" and "that made a better landscape" for him to consider taking on the position.

Trump shared highly classified information with Russians; Wray says it'd be extremely risky to share classified information that could put US sources overseas at risk.

Mr Wray was announced as the nominee in a curt, early morning tweet by Mr Trump, and without the pageantry of a Rose Garden ceremony. At this time, Wray was part of a team tasked with protecting national security in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Chuck Grassley, the committee chairman, and Sen. A former Justice Department official who helped the US respond to the September 11 attacks, Wray represented Credit Suisse Group AG before its main unit pleaded guilty in 2014 and paid $2.6 billion for helping thousands of Americans evade taxes. He expressed confidence in Wray's ability to retain that independence.

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