Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Justice Department has notified Senate investigators that it will not make FBI officials available for interviews because doing so could pose conflicts with the work of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee had sought to meet with the FBI's chief of staff, James Rybicki, and the executive assistant director of its national security branch, Carl Ghattas, as part of their review into the dismissal of then-FBI Director James Comey earlier this year.

The Senate has easily confirmed Christopher Wray to be the next FBI director, a position he assumes after former Director James Comey was ousted by President Trump in May.

The 50-year-old former Justice Department lawyer was approved by a 92-5 vote.

Wray was Trump's choice to lead the FBI after he decided to fire Comey — a controversial decision that led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to take over the bureau's investigation into Russian interference in last year's elections and possible collusion between top aides to the Trump campaign and Russia.

Updated at 1:59 p.m. ET

President Trump gave a straight answer on Thursday about whether he has recordings of his private conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey — No.

The question of the existence of tapes arose on May 12, when shortly after firing Comey, Trump tweeted that the former FBI director "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations."

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

The FBI is investigating Wednesday's stabbing of a police officer at the Flint, Mich., international airport as a possible act of terrorism, the agency says.

The assailant has been identified as Amor M. Ftouhi of Quebec. He allegedly stabbed a uniformed police officer in the neck Wednesday morning at Bishop International Airport, prompting an evacuation and shutdown of the airport.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And we begin with some excerpts from Senate testimony today by the man who was fired by President Donald Trump as director of the FBI.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about lawmakers working to increase revenue to fill a nearly $900 million shortfall in the budget, the House welcomes its newest member who won a special election in District 28 & a bill gets amended to dramatically change civil lawsuits and no one noticed.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to close down the agency's investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn just one day after Flynn was let go, according to two sources close to Comey.

Updated at 2:44 p.m. ET

Neither Merrick Garland nor Sen. John Cornyn of Texas will be the new FBI director.

Two friends of Judge Merrick Garland who asked not to be named say he loves being a judge, and he intends to remain on the bench.

This comes after word that Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell recommended Garland to President Trump as a candidate for FBI director.

Updated at 9:25 p.m. ET

President Trump suggested on Twitter Friday morning there might be recordings of his private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired earlier this week, in an apparent attempt to caution Comey against "leaking to the press."

Updated at 7:45 p.m. ET

Undermining the prior rationale laid out by the White House, President Trump said he decided to fire James Comey as FBI director without regard to the Justice Department's recommendation.

"It was set up a while ago," Trump admitted to NBC's Lester Holt in his widest-ranging remarks about his firing of Comey. "And frankly, I could have waited, but what difference does it make?"

He added, "Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey."

Pages