President Donald Trump will read reports and recommendations from the interviews and then meet with a few leading candidates himself, a senior White House official has told CNN. There is no set number of finalists that the President has pledged to interview personally.
Here's a list of candidates who interviewed at the Department of Justice over the weekend:
- Andrew McCabe, acting FBI director;
- Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas;
- Judge Henry Hudson, United States district judge of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia;
- Judge Michael Garcia, a court of appeals judge in New York state
- Fran Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to President George W. Bush
- Mike Rogers, former congressman and FBI special agent.
McCabe assumed the position of acting director on Tuesday by statute after Trump dramatically fired Comey. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, interviewed several candidates
for the interim position last week, including Lee.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer rejected criticism of Sessions' involvement in the search for a new FBI director Monday.
"This is a process that's running completely as it should," Spicer said. "They continue to move through a series of highly qualified candidates, and it's obviously a huge priority for the President to make sure that we have someone that has the ability to administer the proper leadership to the FBI."
Rogers was a former chairman of the House intelligence committee before becoming a CNN national security commentator and has the endorsement of the FBI Agents Association. Townsend served as an acting deputy assistant attorney general and head of the intelligence policy office in the Justice Department under President Bill Clinton before going on to work in the Bush administration and then as a CNN and CBS analyst.
Fisher previously served as assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's criminal division, also under Bush. Garcia is a judge on the New York Court of Appeals. Cornyn, the Senate majority whip, is the second-highest ranking Republican in the chamber, meaning his possible appointment would trigger political moves both there and in his home state of Texas.