President Donald Trump has gone on the record to contend that the freshly vacated FBI director post could be filled as soon as Friday, telling the White House press pool that it’s “possible” he could make the momentous decision before traveling to Saudi Arabia at the end of the week.
Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images
“We can make a fast decision,” Trump said, pointing to his administration’s swift vetting process for potential candidates. He praised the people on his short list for FBI director as “very well-known” and “highly respected,” although he did not reveal whether they are being considered for an interim post or a permanent position.
“Almost all of them are very well known,” Trump continued. “They’ve been vetted over their lifetime, essentially. But very well-known, highly respected, really talented people. And that’s what we want for the FBI.”
A group of the remaining candidates – a list that includes Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and New York Court of Appeals Judge Michael J. Garcia — will sit down on Saturday for an interview with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Also on the list are several current and former lawmakers. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who led the congressional probe into Benghazi and has been championed as a strong Trump conservative for his dogged approach to combating governmental misdeeds, is under consideration, as is former Rep. Mike Rogers, who once led the House Intelligence Committee and worked as an FBI agent in the past.
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe raised eyebrows for undercutting Trump’s decision to fire James Comey and for adding fuel to the fire of the Russian interference narrative, but sources close to the matter claim that he is still under consideration to remain in charge in a permanent or interim capacity.