Trump gets cautious praise for FBI pick

Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman

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Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman

Ohio lawmakers offered cautious praise to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Christopher Wray as FBI direction, with Sen. Sherrod Brown saying he liked the fact Wray is not an elected politician.

In a conference call Wednesday with Ohio reporters, Brown, D-Ohio, declined to say whether he would confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee, but said he was “pleased” that he has “the law enforcement background,” adding he was “pleased this person is not an elected official or a former party person.”

“I’m glad the president finally moved,” Brown said. “I felt the president was wrong in firing” former FBI Director James Comey last month.

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Portman, R-Ohio, pointed to Wray’s background as assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division under former President George W. Bush.

Like Brown, Portman did not say how he planned to vote. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Portman said he did not know Wray, though the two worked in the George W. Bush administration. Portman served as U.S. trade representative and director of the Office of Management and Budget under Bush.

“It’s the premier law enforcement agency in the country,” Portman told Bloomberg TV. “It is an agency that has over time been able to keep a distance from politics and I think that’s important.”

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Trump reportedly considered elected or former elected officials for the post, a move many lawmakers opposed.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, said while he wants to learn more about Wray during Senate confirmation hearings, “it looks as if” Wray “is a solid, common sense pick for FBI director who will provide a good opportunity for the Bureau to move past the controversial tenure of James Comey.”

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