The FBI may have a new director before Friday ends as President Donald Trump said he is “very close” to choosing a new FBI director. A White House official also added that the chances of a new agency chief being announced on Friday is better than “50-50”
Trump also named his top pick for the job in both on and off the record talks with reporters. The president said Sen. Joe Lieberman is his leading choice to succeed ousted former FBI Director James Comey. NBC News also reveals that multiple sources confirmed to them that indeed Lieberman is the current “frontrunner” for the job.
Trump has met with Lieberman on Wednesday, along with acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, and former top FBI official Richard McFeely. MSNBC also reported that Lieberman kept mum when asked if he would accept the top FBI post should it be offered to him.
Joe Lieberman is a former four-termer senator from Connecticut. He also served as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and served as the Democratic Party’s 2000 vice presidential nominee before choosing to become an independent. He does not have direct experience working as an FBI agent, federal judge, or prosecutor but he did serve as attorney general of Connecticut before his election in the Senate.
Lieberman, 75, has attempted to present a bipartisan reputation, although he is remembered to have spoken at the 2008 Republican National Convention and backed John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008. Should Lieberman get the final nod of Trump, it is being predicted that he might get the votes from senators John McCain and his ally Lindsey Graham. Graham, though, earlier said that it is important for the FBI pick to come from “within” the FBI ranks and someone who has no “political background.”
Fellow Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy also hailed Lieberman as no push-over, as he was “a pain in the butt” to both Republicans and Democrats during his time both in and out of the Senate.
It remains to be seen, though, if indeed the job is in the bag for Lieberman despite his previous links to Democrats. Or if this is already the surprise Trump will spring for his FBI top post pick, or there would be more explosive surprises as Trump is known for. The answer should come soon as Trump promised that the process to replace the former FBI director would go “very quickly”, something that might be concluded before he departs for his first trip abroad on Friday.