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4 in the running — New FBI chief

4 in the running — New FBI chief

US President Donald Trump says "we can make a fast decision" on a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director, possibly by late next week, before he leaves on his first foreign trip since taking office. "Nearly all of them are very well known", Trump said while flying to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he gave the commencement address at Liberty University.

The president's remarks came four days after his controversial firing of James Comey, a move that was still resonating in Washington.

"Even that is possible", he told reporters when asked whether he could unveil his nominee by Friday to succeed James Comey, whose abrupt dismissal has sparked a major media firestorm and much disagreement.

Almost a dozen people are being considered, including attorneys, law enforcement officials and legislators.

"They've been vetted over their lifetime, essentially, but very well known, highly respected, really talented people", the president said.

Though the White House initially said that Comey's removal had nothing to do with the Russian Federation investigation, Trump later told NBC News' Lester Holt that the investigation was a factor in his decision. John Cornyn of Texas, attorney Alice Fisher and Judge Michael Garcia for the permanent position.

Frances Townsend, former homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to President George W. Bush, and former Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers also met with Justice officials.

They can make recommendations, but the president will ultimately make the hiring decision.

Another rumored candidate, former House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers, picked up the endorsement Saturday of the FBI Agents Association, the union representing active and retired agents.

Fisher and Townsend were the only women on the list of candidates.

If appointed, she would be the FBI's first female director.

She faced resistance from Democrats during her confirmation over her alleged participation in discussions about detention policies at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Lee arrived at the Justice Department just before 1 p.m.

The decision is subject to confirmation by the US Senate, where Republicans have a majority. Earlier in the week, DOJ officials said they were close to naming an interim director, but have yet to do so.