Politico reports Ayotte being considered to head FBI

  • Senator Kelly Ayotte at the Monitor editorial board Friday. GEOFF FORESTER

Monitor staff
Published: 5/11/2017 11:38:15 PM

Kelly Ayotte is reportedly under consideration to lead the FBI to replace James Comey, who was abruptly fired by President Trump this week.

Ayotte, a former one-term U.S. Senator, is one of several candidates up for the job, Politico reported Thursday. Ayotte did not return a request for comment.

Most recently, the Republican was tapped to usher Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, through the confirmation process on Capitol Hill. Gorsuch was confirmed to the high court last month.

During the campaign season, Ayotte and Trump had a contentious relationship that peaked when Ayotte dropped support for the businessman over his 2005 comments about groping women.

While Trump won the presidency, she lost a competitive reelection race to Democrat Maggie Hassan. Ayotte lost to Hassan by roughly 1,000 votes, out of more than 700,000 cast, but she did not request a recount.

The state’s senior U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen told Politico that she would likely support Ayotte if chosen for FBI director.

“She was attorney general of New Hampshire. And she has the experience. So I think she’d be a good candidate (for the position),” Shaheen said.

In statements to the Monitor later, Shaheen and Hassan called for the appointment of a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Russian election interference before a new FBI director is considered.

Ayotte was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and previously served as the state’s Attorney General.

(Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or amorris@cmonitor.com.)

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