US President Donald Trump has said a new FBI director will be appointed “fast”, following the controversial dismissal of James Comey.
“We can make a fast decision,” Trump told reporters on his way to fly to southern Virginia on Saturday.
Trump described the candidates being considered for the post as “outstanding people,” “very well-known,” and of the “highest level.”
Trump said it is “possible” that the new FBI director will be announced before he leaves for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Trump is scheduled to leave for the kingdom on Friday 19 May.
The White House, however, has provided no deadline for filling in Comey’s place.
Choices for post of FBI director
Trump’s administration is scheduled to interview the first four candidates, among a dozen candidates being considered for the post, on Saturday.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy Rod Rosenstein will interview acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, Texas Senator John Cornyn, former federal prosecutor Michael Garcia and former assistant attorney general Alice Fisher, The New York Times reported.
Andrew McCabe, 49, is a career FBI agent.
He has taken part in a number of high-profile investigations, including probes into the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and the attacks against US installations in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.
John Cornyn, 65, is the number two Republican in the Senate.
He served as Texas attorney general before his election to the Senate in 2002.
Michael Garcia, 55, served as assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and US attorney under former president George W. Bush.
Alice Fisher, 50, headed the Justice Department’s criminal division, also under former president Bush.
Other candidates include former New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly, former Republican senator Kelly Ayotte, and South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy.
The Senate must approve whoever is chosen as Trump’s nominee for the post.
Meanwhile, Trump faces bipartisan criticism from Senate members for firing Comey.
The Democrats and some Republicans are dissatisfied over the abrupt termination of Comey’s appointment, describing the dismissal as “troubling”.
At the time, Comey was running an investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible links with Russia.