President Donald Trump's administration is considering appointing Joe Lieberman, former vice presidential candidate, to fill former FBI Director James Comey's vacant position.
Several senior White House officials told reporters at both Politico and CNN that Lieberman, a former Democratic senator from Connecticut who now identifies as an Independent, is the frontrunner for the job.
One source told CNN that the president met with Lieberman on May 17 and found him "agreeable" while Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions interviewed candidates after Trump fired Comey on May 9.
Trump reportedly indicated that he was leaning toward Lieberman, but would officially announce his pick for the new leader of the bureau on May 19, shortly before leaving for his first trip overseas as president, notes Politico.
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"Almost all of [the candidates] are very well-known; they've been vetted over their lifetime, essentially," Trump explained of the selection process to the media on May 13, according to NBC News. "But very well-known, highly respected, really talented people and that's what we want for the FBI."
Trump also said at the time that "the process is going to move quickly," and that he would make a "fast decision" to replace Comey.
The U.S. Department of Justice has reportedly interviewed at least seven candidates.
Lieberman ran for vice president with Democrat Al Gore in 2000 and now works at the same law firm as Trump's longtime lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, which Democrats could find problematic, as one Democratic aide told Politico.
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The 75-year-old former congressman, who would be hired to serve a 10-year term, is well-liked among both Democrats and Republicans, according to Politico. However, CNN notes that he is not particularly popular among Democratic voters, as he lost a Senate primary in 2006, the last time he ran as a liberal. He ended up retaining the seat when he ran as an Independent.
In his 2000 vice presidential run, Lieberman was the first Jewish person to run on a major party ticket in a presidential race. As a Democrat, he was known for criticizing former President Bill Clinton during his presidency and later went on to endorse Republican John McCain for president when the Arizona senator ran in 2008.
Politicians are not typically selected to direct the FBI.
"It was unexpected," Lieberman said of being considered to lead the bureau, according to NBC News. "Not something I was seeking."
He did not comment on whether he would accept the job it it is offered to him.