Trump says ‘fast decision’ on new FBI head is possible as candidate interviews underway
President Trump said his administration may be able to “make a fast decision” on a new FBI director as candidates began arriving at the Department of Justice Saturday morning for interviews.
“We can make a fast decision,” Trump told reporters Saturday of the administration’s search for a replacement for fired FBI Director James Comey.
Asked if there will be a decision before the start of the president’s foreign trip on May 19, he said, “Even that is possible.”
Trump said nearly all of the candidates under consideration “are very well known, so you know they’ve been vetted over their lifetime essentially.”
The president added that candidates under consideration for the post are “highly respected, really talented people.”
Trump spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One as he was on his way to Virginia to give the commencement address at Liberty University as meanwhile interviews for the FBI director position were underway at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C.
Alice Fisher, a former assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division, was the first candidate to arrive for an interview on Saturday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Fisher, who emerged from the meeting over an hour later, would be the first female director of the FBI if appointed.
She is one of 11 candidates whom Trump is considering to replace Comey, senior White House sources with direct knowledge of the process confirmed to ABC News.
The White House has as of Friday already started conversations with some of the candidates, but the sources caution that the list is fluid and could change.
In addition to Fisher, ABC News has learned that Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Judge Michael Garcia of the New York Court of Appeals and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe are expected to be interviewed Saturday with others to follow in the coming days.
Here is the full list of candidates being considered for the post, listed in no particular order. The list was first reported by Fox News.
– Ray Kelly, former New York City police commissioner (Kelly is also an ABC News contributor)
– Mike Rogers, former House Intelligence Committee chairman. Rogers worked as an FBI agent but retired in 2015.
– Alice Fisher, former assistant attorney general
– Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina
– John Cornyn, Senate majority whip, R-Texas
– Paul Abbate, executive assistant director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services branch of the FBI
– Michael Garcia, former New York prosecutor, now associate judge on New York Court of Appeals
– John Suthers, mayor of Colorado Springs
– Michael Luttig, former federal appellate court judge and now executive vice president of Boeing
– Larry Thompson, former deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush
– Andrew McCabe, acting FBI director
ABC News’ Katherine Faulders, Jonathan Karl and Pierre Thomas contributed to this story.
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