President Donald Trump is scheduled to interview former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman to be his FBI director on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.
Trump will also interview Frank Keating, a Republican and former Oklahoma governor; Richard McFeely, a former FBI official; and Andrew McCabe, the bureau’s current acting director, for the post, Spicer told reporters gathered aboard Air Force One on Wednesday afternoon.
Lieberman, who entered the Senate in 1989 as a Democrat, left as an Independent in 2013. He was the Democratic Party’s nominee for vice president in 2000.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who removed himself from the running for the job, called Lieberman a “brilliant selection.”
“I think he would get 100 votes,” said Cornyn, the majority whip. “Everybody loves Joe Lieberman.”
“People know he’s going to shoot straight no matter what happens, and I think it’s a pretty brilliant selection if that’s what he does,” Cornyn said.
But a Senate Democratic leadership aide said “there couldn’t be worse time to take the unprecedented step of handing the FBI over to a politician.”
“That includes Sen. Lieberman,” the aide said.
As his search to fill the post continues, Trump is facing mounting scrutiny over his sudden decision last week to fire James Comey, the former FBI director who was overseeing the bureau’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s relationship with the Russian government.
According to a bombshell report in The New York Times on Tuesday, since confirmed by other news outlets, Comey told associates in a memo that Trump had asked him to end the FBI’s investigation into the administration’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in February. The report prompted immediate chaos in the White House and on Capitol Hill as Democrats pounced, asserting that the allegation, if true, could amount to an obstruction of justice or even merit impeachment.
The White House has contested the veracity of the memo.
Jennifer Haberkorn and Seung Min Kim contributed reporting.