FBI Director Wray says Russia continues to sow discord in US

FBI Director: 'Russia attempted to interfere in the last election'

Russia meddled, whatever Putin and Trump say: FBI chief

Wray stood behind the US intelligence agencies' assessment that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and rejected President Vladimir Putin's claim that Russian Federation was not involved.

"He's got his view. I can tell you what my view is", Wray said at the opening event of the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

In his interview, Wray said that the intelligence community has not observed an effort by Russian Federation to target specific election infrastructure as it did in 2016, but "we could just be a moment away from it going to the next level". "My view has not changed".

On Monday, Trump cast doubt on the intelligence community's assessment of Russian interference in a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and earlier on Wednesday appeared to suggest he did not believe Russian measures against American democracy were ongoing.

In this September 28, 2017, file photo, FBI Director Chris Wray speaks at his installation ceremony at the FBI Building in Washington.

Yet, it seems the difference of opinion between Wray and Trump does not stop with election meddling.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Christopher Wray made clear that United States law enforcement does not support a proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin to have American investigators go to Russia to observe interviews of suspects wanted by the US.

The White House said it was under consideration.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump during their meeting in Helsinki, Finland.

"It's certainly not high on our list of investigative techniques", Wray said.

Speaking to moderator and NBC News anchor Lester Holt, Wray said his federal agents have found traces of China's pervasive economic espionage in all 50 states. "My view has not changed, which is that Russian Federation attempted to interfere with the last election and that it continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day".

"To me, it's a threat that we need to take very serious and respond to with fierce determination", Mr Wray said.

Holt asked Wray about a report in January that stated he'd threatened to resign amid pressures to fire then Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

As for the militant nation to China's east, Wray said their cyber threats are just as significant and only serve to generate revenue for Kim Jong Un's cash-strapped regime.

China wants to replace the USA as the most powerful economic engine in the world and is infiltrating American businesses to get an edge. "It is economic espionage as well as traditional espionage", Wray said, adding that the threat from China is something that can not be underestimated. It covers everything from corn seeds in Iowa to wind turbines in MA and everything in between. The pervasiveness of it.

"The volume of it, the pervasiveness of it, the significance of it is something this country can not underestimate", said Wray, who joined the law enforcement agency in August 2017.

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