The White House continues its search for the next FBI director following President Trump’s firing of James Comey.
New names have emerged as prime contenders, while others who were believed to be in the running — such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani — have been reportedly ruled out.
So whose names have entered the Washington, D.C., rumor mill?
Politico reports that former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is on the list of candidates to replace Comey. Ayotte, who is popular in establishment Republican circles, could potentially receive bipartisan support for her candidacy. Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen told Politico that she would probably approve Ayotte’s nomination. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., claimed she has “widespread appreciation and respect here in the Senate.”
Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., has also been floated for the FBI director slot, according to Politico. Before coming to Congress, Reichert served as sheriff of King County, Washington.
Furthermore, a White House official told Bloomberg that Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., former Rep. Mike Rogers, and former NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly are on the short list to become the next FBI director. Conservative Review profiled Gowdy, Rogers, and Kelly in a piece earlier this week on the potential candidates for the position.
According to Bloomberg, Trump’s list of potential nominees is likely to grow in the coming days.
Prominent names on Capitol Hill have freely proposed their own ideas for potential candidates.
Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, has suggested that the position be filled by former Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. His colleague, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, agreed with the recommendation.
Separately, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein are interviewing several individuals for interim director, to lead the law enforcement agency while President Trump’s selection goes through Senate confirmation procedures. They are reportedly interviewing at least four candidates for the interim gig. The current acting director, Andrew McCabe, is seen as partisan actor who may not be able to carry out the president’s agenda. The Justice Department officials reportedly interviewed three high-ranking FBI officials and William Evanina, who is an official in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Update: A White House official provided Fox News with a list of names that are apparently being considered for the post. In addition to some of the names reported above, the list includes:
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas
Paul Abbate, the FBI's assistant director in the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services unit
Mike Garcia, former associate judge on the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court)
John Suthers, mayor of Colorado Springs and the former attorney general of Colorado
Boeing executive and former Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Michael Luttig
Larry Thompson, a U.S. deputy attorney general under former President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2003