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White House says Pres. Trump will hold off on naming FBI director

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US President Donald Trump listens during a press conference with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos in the East Room of the White House May 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski

WASHINGTON — The White House says the president will not announce his pick for FBI director before leaving Friday on his first foreign trip.

President Donald Trump has been narrowing a short list and interviewing candidates to replace FBI Director James Comey, whom Pres. Trump fired on May 9.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that no announcement is imminent.

Pres. Trump had said Thursday he was “very close” to naming a replacement and that former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman was among his top choices.

The president departs Friday afternoon on a four-country, nine-day tour of the Middle East and Europe.

He’d previously said he might announce his nominee before he left.