UPDATED May 30, 2:31 p.m. EST:
Kicking off his first full week back in office following his international trip, President Trump is expected to meet with two FBI candidates Tuesday afternoon: John Pistole and Chris Ray, press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed.
The consideration of these two candidates surfaced after Trump's top pick, Joe Lieberman withdrew his name from consideration, citing his law firm’s central role in Mr. Trump’s legal defense team.
Pistole is a veteran of the FBI, having served as deputy director from 2004 to 2010. He is also the former head of the Transportation Security Administration, according to Reuters.
UPDATED May 20, 7:55 p.m. EST:
Former FBI official Richard McFeely has withdrawn his name from consideration to become FBI director, sources close to the decision-making process confirmed to affiliate ABC7 News.
McFeely, who was one of four individuals on the short-list to succeed James Comey, cited family considerations for his withdrawal.
That leaves Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.; former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, a Republican; and Andrew McCabe, bureau's acting director, as the remaining contenders.
ORIGINAL STORY: More than a week after President Trump dropped a bombshell on the Nation's Capital by removing former FBI Director James Comey from office, he told reporters on Thursday afternoon that he's "very close" to choosing the next leader of the bureau, adding that Joe Lieberman is his top pick.
Trump met with the former Connecticut senator on Wednesday, Politico reported. A source familiar with the meeting said Trump had bonded with the retired public servant.
NEW: Pres. Trump tells reporters he's "very close" to picking next FBI Director; confirms Lieberman is currently his top pick. -@alex_mallin— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 18, 2017
One adviser also confirmed to Politico that the 45th commander-in-chief wants to make the decision before leaving on Friday for his first foreign trip.
Lieberman would be an unorthodox choice. The 75-year-old would be sworn in for a 10-year tenure. It's also not typical to appoint former politicians to run the FBI.
Lieberman, though, is widely respected across the political spectrum. On Thursday during a press gaggle, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) described Lieberman as a "pillar of credibility."
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