Trump denies he asked Comey for loyalty, threatens to cancel press briefings

Candidates are already interviewing for the job as the nation's top law enforcement officer.

US President Donald Trump is considering 11 people to replace fired FBI Director James Comey, according to a White House official, and the Department of Justice will begin interviewing people on Friday or during the weekend. The firing drew a wave of criticism in large part because the FBI has been investigating whether election meddling by Russian Federation involved people in Trump's presidential campaign, and Trump said in an interview with NBC that the investigation factored into his decision to fire Comey.

President Trump made no mention of the controversy surrounding Comey's firing during a commencement address Saturday at Liberty University, a Christian school in Virginia.

The position of the FBI director was vacated Tuesday after Trump fired Comey, which has sent shockwaves through Washington as critics say the move was an attempt to undermine an ongoing FBI investigation into alledged ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, an accusation the White House denied.

"In fact, when I chose to just do it, I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won, '" Trump told Holt during the interview.

Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, who is the current Senate majority whip and a former Texas attorney general, is also in the running.

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Less than a week after Trump fired Comey, the administration has interviewed at least eight candidates to be Federal Bureau of Investigation director, and Trump has said a decision could come before he leaves Friday on his first overseas trip as president. The six known candidates are among dozens of people that Trump is considering.

Trump also discussed his dissatisfaction with the media and suggested for a second time that he might cancel the daily White House press briefings in favor of biweekly press conferences where he would answer questions himself.

Defence lawyer Alice Fisher was the first candidate interviewed at the justice department, U.S. media report.

- Adam Lee, special agent in charge of the FBI's office in Richmond, Virginia.

US media quoted an unnamed White House official as saying that 11 candidates are being considered, including acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Hudson, who was appointed by George W. Bush, struck down a major component of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

Ms Fisher was an assistant attorney general for the justice department's criminal division.

  • Hannah Rogers