FBI head warns against Trump deal with ZTE

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FBI Director Christopher Wray is raising red flags over President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani says FBI may have placed spy in Trump campaign Giuliani: There is ‘nothing illegal about looking for dirt on political opponents’ Giuliani: If Mueller subpoenas us, we will challenge it MORE ‘s tweet claiming he is working on restoring the ability of Chinese company ZTE to do business with American firms.

In a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Wednesday, the FBI chief said he is concerned about telecom companies like ZTE, which is closely tied to the Chinese government, being granted access to U.S. markets, Politico reported.

“We at the FBI remain deeply concerned that any company beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values are not companies that we want to be gaining positions of power inside our telecommunications network,” Wray said, according to the news outlet, while declining to name any specific companies.

“That gives them the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information, that gives them the capacity to conduct undetected espionage, that gives them the capacity to exert pressure or control,” he added.

Trump tweeted over the weekend that he wanted to help ZTE get “back into business” after the Commerce Department prohibited U.S. companies from dealing with the Chinese firm over its violation of American sanctions.

Republicans and Democrats reacted to Trump’s tweet with surprise, questioning why Trump would seek to aid the Chinese company.

“I was very surprised and, frankly, concerned by the president’s comments recently, in fact, showing somehow a loosening up of that concern with ZTE,” Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerHillicon Valley: Senate votes to save net neutrality | Senate panel breaks with House, says Russia favored Trump in 2016 | Latest from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower | Lawmakers push back on helping Chinese tech giant Overnight Finance: House panel to take up bill toughening review of foreign deals | Trump acknowledges Cohen payment on disclosure form | Officials set for new round of China trade talks Lawmakers raise alarm over Trump’s move to help Chinese tech giant ZTE MORE (R-Ill.) said Wednesday. “I hope they were comments that were misinterpreted or at least there is some other thought given to that.”

“This makes absolutely no sense, in my opinion,” added Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneHillicon Valley: Senate votes to save net neutrality | Senate panel breaks with House, says Russia favored Trump in 2016 | Latest from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower | Lawmakers push back on helping Chinese tech giant Lawmakers raise alarm over Trump’s move to help Chinese tech giant ZTE Supreme Court decision on sports bets sets off scramble MORE (D-N.J.).