President Trump is conducting interviews Wednesday for four potential replacements for FBI director following his surprise firing of James Comey earlier this month, the White House announced.
The candidates range from former Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman to the current acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. The other two candidates are former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating and former FBI official Richard McFeeley.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the interviews are slated to start when the President returns in Washington, D.C. Wednesday afternoon. Trump traveled to Connecticut earlier in the day to give the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Two members of Congress that Trump had reportedly been considering for the position — Texas Sen. John Cornyn and South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy — withdrew their names earlier this week, emphasizing that the new director should be apolitical.
“I think the country deserves a woman or a man who is devoid of political taint,” Gowdy said on Fox News. “They [citizens] deserve an FBI Director that is above reproach.”
The position of a permanent FBI director remains vacant after Trump fired Comey last week, which quickly became a controversial topic and raised questions about the future of the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
While presidents have the power to hire and fire FBI directors, they are typically appointed to 10-year terms in order to avoid electoral politics.
Trump said last week that he wanted a speedy selection process to replace Comey. “We can make a fast decision.” he said, highlighting the possibility that an announcement could come before he leaves on his first foreign trip this Friday.