GOP senators had mixed reactions to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn being considered to replace former FBI director James Comey.
Cornyn is one of the eight names being interviewed to potentially succeed Comey, who President Donald Trump fired May 4.
“I think politicians are capable. I think John Cornyn is particularly capable — so if the president wanted to make that choice I’d certainly be supportive of it,” Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri told reporters Monday.
GOP South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott echoed Blunt’s sentiments,
“Frankly, I think there’s a case to be made that you want the most qualified person who can handle the issues and lead us in the direction we need to go,” he told Politico. “That doesn’t eliminate partisan folks, but there’s no question that the country seems to be, I think would find more confidence and credibility in someone who’s probably not involved in partisan politics right now.”
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas praised Cornyn saying he’s supportive of the fellow Texas senator, but noting Americans need to be assured the position won’t be politicized.
“I think we need an FBI director with integrity who can lead that agency fairly and impartially — we should not have a Democratic FBI or Republican FBI. Rather, the director of the FBI should stay outside of partisan politics,” he said.
GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said he would like to see the nominee pass with bipartisan support — a feat which could prove difficult for Cornyn.
“I think the next FBI director needs to be someone who, by their appointment, causes everyone in the nation to feel whatever the FBI does is going to be beyond reproach — no partisanship, no loyalty kinds of issues other than to our country,” he told reporters. “We’ll see who they nominate. I hope it’s someone who fits that. I think again, with that type of person being nominated, all of these other issues relative to the Russia investigation would go away really.”
While many were supportive of the potential nomination, doubts remain among a substantial number of members who doubt he is the right man for the job.
Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said he’d normally support Cornyn, but due to the political climate, he feels that someone who isn’t involved in politics is more suited for the position.
“John Cornyn under normal circumstances would be a superb choice to be FBI director,” Graham said on Meet the Press. “But these are not normal circumstances.”
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said he highly regards Cornyn but would like to see Former Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend fill the role.
“Cornyn is fine; he’s a great leader. But I think it might be kind of interesting and very important to have the first woman director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” he told reporters Monday.
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