White House to hold off on naming Federal Bureau of Investigation director

Claudine Rigal
Mai 20, 2017

Joseph Lieberman departs the White House after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump May 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.

President Donald Trump's national security adviser plans to brief reporters at the White House.

Earlier in the day, Trump said that Lieberman was near the top of the list of candidates for the post. Politico's Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim report that Senate Republicans have lined up in support of Lieberman, if Trump nominates him, and if that's the case, there won't be any problem - with confirmation, anyway.

Lieberman traveled to the White House on Wednesday on short notice for an interview with Trump and afterward said it was a "good meeting". Current acting director Andrew McCabe and former Oklahoma Gov.

Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have been interviewing candidates to lead the bureau since Trump suddenly fired former Comey last week only a few years into what was created to be up to a 10-year term.

President Donald Trump's maiden worldwide trip, a five-stop marathon across the Middle East and Europe, has long loomed as crucial first test overseas for the chaos-courting president. But if he doesn't, it's the flawless coda to Lieberman's political career that he proved so eager and successful at sucking up to Trump. Among other candidates for the position, Lieberman has Democrats concerned both because of his personal ties to Trump and his political history.

Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank, said Lieberman lacks law enforcement experience and is too close to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former USA senator. "But we need a law enforcement professional, not someone who's run for office before", McCaskill said.

"I think that the political part of this is not the best part for the FBI", Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic senator from California told CNN. "John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee".

According to the New York Times, several high-level Trump aides have been urging him not to appoint Lieberman, citing the former senator's lack of federal law enforcement experience and his political background.

Many liberal Democrats are still bitter about Lieberman's stance in publicly supporting Republican John McCain against Democrat Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race and for strongly supporting the Iraq War under Republican President George W. Bush. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this week that the "most important" attribute for Trump's pick is that he or she is "apolitical". The firm represents Trump in personal matters.

Lieberman, 75, a Democrat who became an independent in 2006, met with the president Wednesday. In October 2015, Lieberman introduced Trump at a convention in southern New Hampshire for No Labels, a bipartisan group that Lieberman serves as co-chairman. John Cornyn, R-Texas; Alice Fisher, the former head of the Justice Department's criminal division; and Michael Garcia, a former USA attorney from Manhattan.

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