White House

Trump meets with two additional candidates for FBI director

Brooke Singman

President Trump will meet Tuesday afternoon with two additional candidates who could potentially replace former FBI Director James Comey.

Trump, picking up where he left off with his search for a new FBI chief, invited former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief John Pistole, and former head of the Justice Department’s criminal division under former President George W. Bush, Chris Wray, to the White House for consideration.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his first press briefing since the president’s overseas trip that the candidate meetings will continue until Trump finds the “right leader.”

“The president will be meeting two additional candidates this afternoon- Chris Wray and John Pistole,” Spicer said. “He’ll meet candidates today, and will continue to do so until he finds the right leader.”

Pistole was rumored to be under consideration immediately after Comey was fired, but he did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment earlier this month as to whether he would take the job. Pistole is currently the president of Anderson University in Indiana.

Pistole has law enforcement experience spanning from 1983 until 2010, and was named deputy for former FBI director, now Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, in 2004, and was responsible for the FBI’s counterterrorism division after 9/11. Pistole moved on to be TSA administrator for President Barack Obama from 2010 until 2014.

When pressed on whether either candidate was a “finalist,” Spicer responded: “The president is the ultimate decision maker. When he makes a decision on how best to lead the FBI, he’ll let us know.”

Since Comey’s ouster earlier this month, there has been an ever-changing roster of candidates who could potentially replace him—all with various levels of law enforcement and legislative experience. But the only candidate who came out as a potential “top choice” for the president was former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who withdrew his name from consideration last week while the president was overseas.

Lieberman’s withdrawal came after the president brought on his long-time attorney Marc Kasowitz to represent him in the ongoing Russian election meddling probe. Lieberman is a partner of Kasowitz’s New York law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres. With the FBI involved in the investigation, sources suggested Lieberman’s installation to head the bureau could present a potential conflict of interest.

Before Lieberman became the leading candidate, the list of possible directors included former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly; former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who was endorsed by the FBI Agents Association; Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe; Colorado Springs, Colo., Mayor John Suthers; former federal appellate court judge and current Boeing executive John Luttig; Director for the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch Paul Abbate; Associate Judge for the New York Court of Appeals Mike Garcia; and Larry Thompson, former deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush.

The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment as to whether any of those candidates are still under consideration. 

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.