Comey replacements: White House confirms shortlist to head FBI

The Trump administration is considering nearly a dozen candidates — a list that includes top current and former lawmakers as well as law enforcement figures — to replace fired FBI Director James Comey, a White House official briefed on the matter told Fox News on Friday. 

The timeline for a nomination is unclear, but the official said they are moving quickly.

“We are moving quickly and expeditiously to pick an interim and a permanent replacement, and we’re doing our due diligence—we’re not going to cut any corners,” the source told Fox News. 

The roster of contenders is extensive, including some names already reported such as former Rep. Mike Rogers and former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as well as lesser-known law enforcement officials. 

fbihead_small Comey replacements: White House confirms shortlist to head FBI News

According to the White House official, the candidates include: 

  • Ray Kelly, the former and longest-serving New York City police commissioner 
  • Mike Rogers, former House Intelligence Committee chairman and former FBI agent 
  • Former Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher
  • Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.
  • Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas
  • Paul Abbate, executive assistant director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch
  • Former New York prosecutor Mike Garcia
  • Mayor of Colorado Springs John Suthers
  • Former federal appellate court Judge Michael Luttig, now executive vice president of Boeing 
  • Larry Thompson, former deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush 
  • Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe

McCabe swiftly stepped into the role of acting director after Trump’s controversial decision to fire Comey on Tuesday. 

He seemed to undermine parts of the administration’s narrative about the Comey firing during Senate testimony on Thursday. He argued that Comey had not generally lost the confidence of rank-and-file within the bureau despite suggestions to the contrary from the White House, and described the Russia meddling investigation as significant.  

But the White House source told Fox News he is still “very much being considered for permanent and interim [director] — that has not changed.”

The official added: “Some of the things he said backed up some very important points. Of course this is a significant investigation, but it has turned up zero evidence of collusion—the place is leaking like a sieve, and if there was something out there, we’d have heard by now.”

Any full-time replacement for Comey would require Senate confirmation, and the president could be in for stiff resistance from Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans who have voiced concerns about the Comey firing. 

The White House official told Fox News that the candidate list is fluid, and names could be added or removed as the process moves forward.