A Trump administration official told CNN that the president wants to review a broader list of candidates for the position of FBI director, signaling that former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is no longer the front-runner for the appointment.
Last week, President Trump said that he was “very close” to selecting a replacement for James Comey, whom he abruptly dismissed as director, and noted that Lieberman was the top candidate.
Trump is expected to retain a team of private attorneys to represent him in the federal investigation into his presidential campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia, and tap lawyer Marc Kasowitz to lead the effort. Lieberman is a partner at the law firm that employs Kasowitz.
The White House official contended that Lieberman’s association with the firm did not influence the president’s decision.
Congress has pressured Trump to select a strong, bipartisan candidate for the FBI director’s post. Lieberman served as a Democrat Senator from Connecticut for almost twenty years before becoming an independent.
Despite Lieberman’s history as a Democrat, many Democratic senators contended that he was the wrong pick, citing that he has no background in federal law enforcement. Many Democrats were angered by Lieberman’s departure from the party in 2006.
Before departing for his foreign trip last week, Trump interviewed Lieberman, former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating (R), acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and ex-FBI official Richard McNeely for the FBI director’s position.
McNeely has since withdrawn himself from consideration for the job.
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