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FBI Director Comey Says He Is 'Mildly Nauseous' About Potential Impact On Election

FBI Director James Comey prepares to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET.

FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday defended his decision to tell Congress he was revisiting the bureau's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, just over a week before last November's presidential election.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey said he believed revisiting the investigation just before the election — knowing it could affect the outcome — would be really bad, but that not to do so would be catastrophic for the agency's independence. He said, in retrospect, he still believes he made the right choice.

"Look, this was terrible. It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election. But honestly, it wouldn't change the decision," he said.

Comey's remarks were his first public comment on his decision to reopen the Clinton email investigation, which came after FBI agents discovered new communications from the former secretary of state. Comey's letter to congressional leaders informing them of the renewed investigation was immediately leaked, and Clinton says it contributed to her loss on Election Day.

In the hearing about FBI oversight, senators also asked Comey about Russia. Comey said Russia represents "the greatest threat of any nation on Earth given their intention and capability."

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

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