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The Internet Nominates Comey Replacements

For new director of FBI, separating real suggestions from jokes isn’t easy

With the lack of a White House list of possible replacements for fired FBI Director James Comey, we turned to the Internet for answers.  (Screenshot and
With the lack of a White House list of possible replacements for fired FBI Director James Comey, we turned to the Internet for answers.  (Screenshot and

Homer Simpson in dark sunglasses is clearly not next in line to lead the FBI. Neither is Vladimir Putin wearing a Groucho Marx mustache. But what about Chris Christie

The strange details around President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey keep coming. Press secretary Sean Spicer hid in the White House bushes until he was promised he wouldn’t be filmed answering questions about Comey’s firing. Comey learned he was fired from a TV playing cable news in the back of the room where he was giving a speech in California, and he initially thought it was a prank.

Additionally, all signs indicate that the Trump administration has not yet given much thought to who they will nominate for the next 10-year term directing the FBI.

Journalists and cranks — not mutually exclusive groups — were quick to speculate in the absence of a list of candidates. And it wasn’t always easy to tell who was joking and who was not. 

Gov. Chris Christie: He’s currently most famous for his role in the 2013 Bridgegate scandal, for his record-low 17 percent approval rating, and for being described recently as Trump’s “manservant,” who picks up food from McDonald’s for the president.

But even though there’s a good chance Trump will just dangle the job in front of Christie before giving it to someone else in a new round of humiliation, there’s also the real likelihood, in an administration as unpredictable as Trump’s, that Christie serves as FBI director for the next decade. 

Rep. Trey Gowdy: Gowdy most notably chaired the House Benghazi investigation that focused much of its effort on unsuccessfully unearthing evidence of wrongdoing by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The investigation’s integrity took a big hit in 2015 when Rep. Kevin McCarthysuggested it was intended to lower Clinton’s poll numbers. After he walked that back, fellow GOP Rep. Richard Hanna agreed that going after Hillary Clinton was “a big part” of the probe’s design.

Selecting Gowdy could be a good move if Trump wants to take his trolling of Democrats beyond Twitter.

Ray Kelly: The former New York City police commissioner is strongly identified with the NYPD’s “stop-and-frisk” policing and extensive surveillance of mosques and Muslim-owned businesses. Current Commissioner Bill Bratton de-emphasized “stop-and-frisk” and ended the “Muslim surveillance” program.

Sheriff David Clarke: As the Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wis., Clarke would enjoy a major promotion if appointed FBI director. He’s currently under intense scrutiny related to an inmate who died of dehydration while begging for water in a Milwaukee County jail, after staff withheld water for days as a punishment. Seven of those staff members face criminal charges over the death, and Clarke has not commented on the case. 

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