Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating is among the candidates to replace James Comey as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Wednesday that President Donald Trump is meeting with Keating and three other candidates on Wednesday afternoon.
Keating, a Republican, served as the 25th governor of Oklahoma from 1995 to 2003. His long career in public service includes working as an FBI agent, an Oklahoma state representative and senator and an assistant secretary of the treasury under former President Ronald Reagan.
After leaving the office of governor, Keating served as the chairman of a panel appointed by the Catholic Church to investigate allegations of abuse by priests. Gov. Mary Fallin appointed Keating a member of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents in 2017.
“Frequently, Mr. Trump’s tone is hysterical, and there is simply no reason for that,” Mr. Keating said. “Leaders, whether they’re governors or presidents, need to make sure they don’t create a blood-lust hysteria.”
Mr. Keating said that some of Mr. Trump’s ideas, like scrutinizing people who enter the country, were sound, but that he was unsure he could support the presumptive Republican nominee. In a crisis, he said, “The one thing you don’t do is shout fire in a crowded theater."
In an interview with CNBC during the Republican National Convention later that year, however, Keating denounced Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and said he would vote for Trump. “There isn’t an alternative,” he said.
Trump will also meet with former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, acting FBI director Andrew McCabe and former FBI official Richard McFeely to discuss the position of FBI director on Wednesday afternoon.