WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald J. Trump will nominate retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn to replace James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a source within the White House confirmed to The New York Times on Wednesday.
Michael Flynn, who led an illustrious military career with more than three decades of service under his belt, was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012. House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) praised President Trump’s decision to tap the retired lieutenant-general for FBI director, calling Flynn a man of upstanding character. “Now, more than ever, the American people need an outside voice,” McConnell told C-SPAN.
If approved by Congress, Mr. Flynn will inherit an already embattled FBI that has faced scrutiny from Republicans and Democrats alike over its handling of an investigation into the use of private email servers by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as an ongoing investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election. Despite reports of internal turmoil within the Bureau, a source associated with Mr. Flynn told The Washington Times that the former National Security Adviser is “very eager to take the reins” of the Russia investigation.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was ultimately responsible for former FBI Director James Comey’s abrupt termination on Tuesday, said the Department of Justice is “committed to a high level of discipline, integrity, and rule of law.” Mr. Sessions, who recused himself from the Russian investigation in early March, told The Washington Post that “a fresh start is needed” at the FBI. “I strongly believe Michael Flynn is the man for the job,” the attorney general was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wi), who spoke to reporters on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, voiced approval for Michael Flynn. “It’s the President’s prerogative to make these decisions on behalf of the American people and I think, in this case, it’s important to bring in someone who might be a little obscure – someone whose managed to remain out of the limelight.” When asked for his personal opinion on the former lieutenant-general, Ryan said had “no recollection” of Mr. Flynn’s name ever coming up in the past but added, “It does sound vaguely familiar.”