Trump Kept Congress in the Dark on Wray Decision - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Trump Kept Congress in the Dark on Wray Decision

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by LEIGH ANN CALDWELL

Senators who will be responsible for confirming President Donald Trump's newly-named FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray said Wednesday they were not informed of the decision in advance, something that has been a common practice in the past.

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and head of the Senate Judiciary Committee that vets nominees to run the FBI, said he found out about the nomination when Trump tweeted the news.

"We learned from the tweet," Grassley told reporters Wednesday morning. When asked whether the lack of communication was disrespectful, the senator would only repeat his statement that he found out from the tweet.

Grassley later told reporters that he "probably" missed a call from the president.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said she wasn't given a heads-up either.

The lack of notification also extended to Congressional leadership. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wasn't notified and neither was House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said during a news conference that Trump didn't inform him in advance.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office has neither confirmed nor denied that he was notified.

Usually a president notifies Congress not only as a courtesy but to also curry favor for the nominee who must pass through the relevant committee and obtain a majority of votes on the Senate floor.

If confirmed, Wray would replace James Comey who Trump fired last month.

Wray, a former Justice Department official, is not well known on Capitol Hill. Because of his relative anonymity and because of Trump's surprise announcement, senators have yet to release statements either praising or criticizing the pick.

Speaker Ryan didn't address Wray directly but said his experience is "perfect."

"I don’t know the guy, but I’ve looked at his resume, he seems like to me he’s the perfect kind of person," Ryan said during his news conference. "I thought we should have a career person take over the FBI, someone with a deep bench of experience, he certainly seems to fit that bill."

When asked about the nominee by reporters, Feinstein said "he may be fine."

"I haven't known about it for very long, like for two hours. So obviously I need to look into it," she said. 

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