A New York Times article says after President Donald Trump fired James Comey as FBI director, the law enforcement bureau launched an investigation into whether Trump was secretly working for Russia. During a confirmation hearing Tuesday with Trump’s pick for U.S. Attorney General, Missouri U.S. Senator Josh Hawley takes Trump’s side and calls accusations about connections between Trump and Russia President Vladimir Putin “stomach turning”.

U.S. Capitol dome courtesy of the U.S. House

Hawley questions nominee William Barr about the FBI reportedly probing Trump after Trump refused to condemn Putin in 2016 as the Republican Party changed its position on Russian military involvement in Ukraine.

“The New York Times report indicates that the FBI began the probe, in part, because they were concerned about the president’s foreign policy stances, comments he made during the 2016 campaign about foreign policy and the Republican Party’s official position on the Ukraine. In your experience with the FBI, is it strange to have a counterintelligence investigation begun because members of that bureau disagree with the foreign policy stances of a candidate for president or a president of the United States,” Hawley asks.

Barr says yes.

Other highlights of the hearing include Barr saying he would be independent and won’t be bullied by anyone into doing something he believes is wrong, including President Trump, Congress, and an editorial board. But Barr also says he would be sympathetic to the Trump’s policy agenda.

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