Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey so abruptly and in such inappropriate fashion, it’s left question marks as to whether he had put any prior thought about the difficulty of finding someone willing to take his place under those circumstances – or the difficulty of getting the Senate to confirm any of his picks in the midst of the Russia scandal. Now it turns out even the names being floated are dropping like flies.
Trump released four names who were in consideration to be the next FBI Director. The headliner was Republican Senator John Cornyn, and as we pointed out at the time, it seemed to be an attempt at daring Senate Republicans into not confirming one of their own (link). But now Cornyn says he won’t take the gig (source: The Hill). And he’s not the only one.
Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy had been widely linked to the FBI Director job by the media. But now Gowdy says he doesn’t want the job either (link). Based on Trump’s original list, that leaves just the fairly obscure Alice Fisher and Michael Garcia, along with current acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
It’s not difficult to see why even the most Trump-friendly of Republican leaders wouldn’t want the job under these circumstances. Cornyn and Gowdy are sitting in fairly safe seats in Congress, which they may be able to hang onto for a long time, even amid the growing anti-Trump backlash against Congressional Republicans nationwide. Why would they give that up for a gig running the FBI in which they’d be viewed as Trump’s puppet if they handled the Russia investigation the way he wants, and they’d be fired if they tried to handle it correctly? Trump’s options are now narrowing literally by the day, as his top contenders drop like flies.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report