(Updated 5 p.m.) WASHINGTON – Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman is on a short list of people whom President Donald Trump is considering as director of the FBI.
The president was scheduled to meet at the White House with Lieberman and three other potential candidates for the post after returning from New London where he delivered a commencement address to graduates of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Spicer broke the news during a “press gaggle” with reporters traveling aboard Air Force One between New London and D.C.
“The President will continue to meet with candidates for FBI director this afternoon. He’ll meet with four more – Andrew McCabe, Frank Keating, Richard McFeely and Joe Lieberman. So those will all happen upon return to the White House this afternoon,” he said.
Lieberman, a former Democrat turned Independent, served in the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 2013. He was Democrat Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, made a short-lived run for president himself in 2004, and was considered by Republican John McCain as his running mate in 2008.
While no longer in elected office, Lieberman has remained politically active. He helped introduce Trump’s controversial nominee for education secretary to Senate members earlier this year.
Chris Healy, a former state GOP chairman, had suggested Lieberman as a potential replacement for James Comey earlier this month on Twitter. He also sent a message to a friend in the White House offering Lieberman as a potential FBI choice. While done half in jest, Healy said in a telephone interview Wednesday that Lieberman would be a good option.
“On the issue of integrity and honesty, Joe Lieberman has that throughout Washington – in Democrat and Republican circles,” Healy said. “And, in the Senate he had a long series of responsibilities that would serve him well at the FBI.”
Lieberman was chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and focused a lot of his attention on counter-terrorism – a subject that consumes much of the FBI’s work.
“There are few people with better credentials,” Healy said.
Healy believes Lieberman has the maturity to quiet the roiled waters at the FBI and joked that his appointment would annoy – to his delight – many Democrats in Connecticut.
Lieberman is currently senior counsel at Kasowitz, Benson, and Torres. According to the firm’s website he assists corporate clients on tax, health care, security, and intellectual property matters.
The other three candidates being interviewed this afternoon have former FBI experience, which Lieberman lacks. McCabe is acting director, Keating, a former Oklahoma governor was an FBI agent, and McFeely is a longtime FBI official who served as the lead case agent investigating the Oklahoma City federal building bombing in 1995.