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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press President Donald Trump poses with U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduate Liam Christian Otto on Wednesday during commencement exercises at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

Thursday, May 18, 2017 1:00 am

Politics

Trump interviews candidates for FBI post

News Services

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Wednesday interviewed four potential candidates to lead the FBI, including former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating and Andrew McCabe, currently the bureau's acting director.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump would also meet with Richard McFeely, a former top FBI official, in addition to the three other candidates.

The meetings came more than a week after Trump fired James Comey from his post as FBI director.

Trump said Monday that the search for a successor to Comey was “moving rapidly.” He also has said he could name a candidate by the end of the week, before he departs Friday afternoon on his first overseas trip as president. The Senate must confirm whoever Trump nominates.

Life is not fair, Trump tells cadets

As Trump addressed 195 cadets graduating from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday, he offered them some advice.

“Over the course of your life, you will find that things are not always fair,” the unsmiling president said. “You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted. But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up.”

And in case the cadets wondered whether this was really advice for them – or simply a coded defense of himself – the president then made his intentions clear.

“Look at the way I've been treated lately, especially by the media,” the president said, opening his arms wide, as if inviting a much-needed hug. “No politician in history – and I say this with great surety – has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams.”

It was then that the president received a warm round of applause, which included cheers and shouts of encouragement.

Trump critic finds self in spotlight

No Democrat was in more demand Wednesday than Texas Rep. Al Green – the seven-term Democrat from Houston who held a hometown news conference two days before calling for the impeachment of Trump. Then came allegations that Trump had pressured the FBI director to beg off a criminal investigation of his then-national security adviser – and then came the media.

Green delivered a morning floor speech on impeachment (“with a heavy heart, with a sense of duty”), then spent nearly an hour just outside the House chamber, walking from camera to camera.

“It's about the fact that the president has committed obstruction of justice,” Green, a former trial lawyer, said in an interview. “It is indisputable that he fired the FBI director. It is indisputable that he said he considered the investigation that was taking place – of the president – when he fired him. And it's indisputable that he went on to tweet what might be considered intimidation, words that are intimidating.”

Sudanese pariah to attend summit

Trump is hoping the Muslim world's leaders join him in confronting extremist ideology when he attends a weekend summit in Saudi Arabia.

But the event could be overshadowed by a surprise attendee: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court and shunned by the United States for the past decade.

Sudan's foreign minister said Wednesday in Geneva that al-Bashir would be traveling to Riyadh and planned to attend the conference, prompting American diplomats to press the Saudis to at least avoid any situation in which Trump and Bashir are seen together, according to U.S. officials familiar with the situation.

More than 50 Muslim leaders are expected.

Trump selling Caribbean estate

The opulent beachfront estate that recently went on the market on the Caribbean island of St. Martin features a number of appealing factors and one unique aspect that nearby properties can't claim: It is owned by the president of the United States.

Le Chateau des Palmiers, which Trump described as “one of the greatest mansions in the world” when he bought it in 2013, was quietly listed for sale last month on the website of Sotheby's International Realty. The price, according to a person familiar with the listing: $28 million.

It's unclear why the property is for sale. It earned Trump between $200,000 and $2 million in rental fees between 2014 and mid-2016, according to financial disclosures.

If the estate is sold, the public probably would learn little, if anything, about who has purchased it.