The search for the new FBI director accelerated as Trump interviewed former Deputy FBI Director John Pistole. He served for the post under former FBI Director Robert Mueller from 2004 until 2010. He is also is the highest ranking former FBI official to be considered for the job.
Pistole worked at the FBI from 1983 until 2010 and later served as director of the Transportation Security Administration, leaving that post in 2014. While in the TSA, he found himself in hot water after he defended the controversial pat-downs and full-body scans. Despite pressure from the White House and members of Congress, he defended the security measures.
“We're not changing the policies, because of... the risks that have been identified. We know through intelligence that there are determined people, terrorists who are trying to kill not only Americans but innocent people around the world,” he said during an interview.
He also once said that the controversial “enhanced interrogation techniques” have “huge” benefits and “insignificant” costs.
“In my view, the benefits are huge and the costs are insignificant. Very few detainees don’t provide us with good information, in our small part of the universe, the clandestine CT would,” he said.
Pistole is also reportedly acquainted with former GOP Sen. Dan Coats, who has spoken against LGBT rights and job discrimination bills. He is also reportedly a close friend of Vice President Mike Pence.
He has been out of Washington since 2014 and hasn’t worked in the FBI since 2010. However, he still has contacts within the bureau and has a security clearance in Washington.
Trump also interviewed former Assistant Attorney General Chris Wray for the vacant seat. He is a former chief of the Justice Department's Criminal Division from 2003 to 2005. During this time, he was a member of the administration's Corporate Fraud Task Force and oversaw the fraud prosecutions of former executives at Enron Corp.
Since Comey’s dismissal, five people who were on the short list to replace him, have taken themselves out of the running. They are former senator Joe Lieberman, Alice Fisher, Sen. John Cornyn, Rep. Trey Gowdy and Richard McFeely.
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