India Caucus co-chair on Trump's list of possible Federal Bureau of Investigation picks

The president said Saturday a new director could be named by Friday, the day he departs for his first presidential foreign trip.

Graham said he does not believe Trump "is a target" of a probe into possible connections between his associates and Russian officials, and said Trump should "let the investigation go forward" - and lay off the tweeting. "We want people who can sit in front of a congressional committee for hours and, however mad they may make us, never give us reason to doubt that they are telling the truth as they see it".

Critics have assailed Mr Trump for abruptly dismissing Mr Comey just as the agency is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 United States election, and possible Moscow ties to the Trump presidential campaign.

"I think the process is going to move quickly because nearly all of them are very well-known, they've been vetted over their lifetime essentially", he said.

So far 14 people - lawmakers, attorneys and law enforcement officials among them - have emerged as candidates.

The first person to be interviewed for the position was Alice Fisher, who served as assistant attorney general for the criminal division during the George W. Bush administration.

At least five candidates were scheduled to be interviewed Saturday in Washington by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein.

- Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate leader and a former Texas attorney general.

-Former Rep. Mike Rogers of MI, who was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

In a statement, association president Thomas F. O'Connor said Rogers's background "sets him apart". Trump told reporters that "we could make a fast decision" because "almost all of them are very well known".

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Sessions and Rosenstein were involved in the interviews because the Federal Bureau of Investigation director reports to them as attorney general and deputy attorney general.

That contradicted a Trump administration talking point pushed Wednesday by Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who told reporters Trump "and the rest of the FBI" had lost confidence in Comey.

Trump's nominee must be confirmed in the Senate, where Democrats and some Republicans have fiercely criticized Comey's firing.

In an interview with Fox News Mr Trump said that he didn't want to discuss the matter and that all he wanted was for Mr Comey to be honest.

Trump abruptly fired former director James Comey on Tuesday after he allegedly requested more funding from the US Department of Justice to investigate purported Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

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