Washington, DC (AP) - Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has taken himself out of the running to replace James Comey as FBI director.

Gowdy is a former state and federal prosecutor and chaired the House select committee on Benghazi. Gowdy has been mentioned as a possible successor to Comey, but he said in a statement Monday he told Attorney General Jeff Sessions he was not interested in the job.

Gowdy said the FBI deserves a director "with not only impeccable credentials but also one who can unite the country as we strive for justice and truth," adding that he was confident such a person will emerge.

President Donald Trump fired Comey last week amid questions about the FBI's investigation of possible collusion between Russia and Trump's presidential campaign.