(CN) – President Donald Trump said Saturday morning that he will choose his nominee to replace former FBI Director James Comey quickly, perhaps by next Friday, when he is scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia.
Speaking aboard Air Force One as he flew to Lynchburg, Virginia to give the commencement address at Liberty University, Trump said “We can make a fast decision” when asked about the process of selecting the new FBI director.
Asked if the announcement will come before the end of the week, the president said “that is possible.”
“I think the process is going to go quickly. Almost all of them are very well known,” Trump said. “They’ve been vetted over their lifetime, essentially. But very well known, highly respected, really talented people. And that’s what we want for the FBI.”
At least five candidates — Texas Sen. John Cornyn, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, attorney Alice Fisher, New York Court of Appeals Judge Michael Garcia, and Adam Lee, head of the bureau’s Richmond office — were to be interviewed Saturday.
Others reportedly under consideration include South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, former Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers and former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Joining Trump on the flight to Lynchburg were White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, senior advisor Stephen Miller, and Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell.
As Trump spoke, Fox News was on in the president’s cabin.
Upon arriving at Lynchburg Regional Airport shortly after 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Trump was greeted on the tarmac by Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University.
The president spoke for just over 30 minutes, and then immediately left the university to return to Washington.