WASHINGTON — The White House said Wednesday that President Trump is considering "several individuals" to replace the FBI director he abruptly fired on Tuesday.
White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the first step is for the Justice Department to identify an interim head of the agency. including Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Four other current FBI officials are also being considered for the temporary post.
White House officials wouldn't discuss potential candidates to replace James Comey permanently, but media reports seemed to focus on several candidates:
► David Clarke. The Milwaukee County Sheriff has emerged as a pro-Trump law enforcement voice as an African-American lawman in the era of Black Lives Matter. But Clarke would be the first FBI director in history without previous federal law enforcement experience.
► Trey Gowdy. He was a career state and federal prosecutor before being elected to Congress in 2010. He made his name as the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, investigating Hillary Clinton's role in the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
► Ray Kelly. The former New York police commissioner held Treasury posts in the Clinton administration, and was mentioned as a possible FBI chief in under presidents Clinton and Obama.
► Andrew McCabe. He's currently the deputy director, and the Justice Department has confirmed that he's being interviewed for the interim job. McCabe helped oversee the Clinton email investigation, but also comes with political baggage: His wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, was a Democratic candidate for state senate in Virginia.
► John Pistole. Now the president of Anderson University in Indiana, Pistole is a former deputy director of the FBI and director of the Transportation Security Administration. And he's close to Vice President Mike Pence.
Gowdy also got the support of a top Democratic pundit. Bakari Sellers, the former South Carolina Representative who now appears regularly on CNN, tweeted he was in favor of Gowdy for the job.
"He's honest as the day is long," Gowdy said.
Dems are going to hate me for this. I don't care. The best replacement for Comey is Trey Gowdy. He's as honest as day is long.— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) May 10, 2017