Who Is Joe Lieberman? How The Potential FBI Director Is Tied To Trump
More than a week after firing FBI Director James Comey, President Trump may be close to finding a replacement. On Thursday, Trump called Joe Lieberman a top FBI director candidate. The president also said he was "very close" to making his nomination for the vacant spot, according to CNN. Among other candidates for the position, Lieberman has Democrats concerned both because of his personal ties to Trump and his political history.
The updates came from Trump as he addressed the media after a White House meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Trump fired Comey, who had held the position since 2013, last Tuesday and has been considering candidates for Comey's replacement since then. Lieberman reportedly interviewed with Trump on Wednesday, but he wasn't the only one. Current Acting Director Andrew McCabe and former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating also reportedly went in for interviews.
On paper, Lieberman may seem like a confusing choice for the GOP president. He served as a Democratic senator in Connecticut for more than 20 years, from 1989 into 2013. What's more, Lieberman also ran for vice president on Al Gore's Democratic presidential ticket in 2000. He later registered as an Independent, but he continued to serve with the Democratic caucus in the Senate. Somewhere along the way, though, Lieberman seems to have lost the favor of his fellow Senate Democrats, as Politico reported Thursday that many of his former colleagues reject the notion that he could lead the FBI.
Lieberman, who graduated from Yale Law School, joined a New York law firm after leaving the Senate. Conveniently, his firm has previously represented Trump in legal matters. According to the Washington Post, attorney Mark Kasowitz of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP (where Lieberman serves as senior counsel) represented Trump in challenging the 2016 report from the New York Times in which several women accused Trump of sexual assault. (Trump has denied these allegations.) Kasowitz has previously been described as Trump's "go-to guy."
More recently, Lieberman supported Trump's controversial pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos. Lieberman appeared with DeVos at her Senate hearing, even introducing her with words of praise.
Still, Lieberman may not see totally eye-to-eye with the president. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Lieberman endorsed Hillary Clinton, despite discussing the possibility of supporting Trump. He also publicly disagreed with Trump's so-called Muslim ban.
Like so many of Trump's picks, a Lieberman nomination would no doubt carry some controversy. With an unpredictable political record, Lieberman may not totally please either side of the aisle. With a 24-year run in the Senate, he also may not please Americans hoping to "drain the swamp" of Washington, D.C.