US President Donald Trump will not announce the new director of the coveted Federal Bureau of Investigation ahead of his maiden foreign trip beginning today, the White House has said.
The announcement comes hours after Trump said he was "very close" to naming the replacement of former FBI Director James Comey whom he fired on May 9.
"There will not be an announcement of a nominee for FBI director today," the White House said ahead of Trump's departure for Riyadh, his first stop on the five-nation nine days foreign trip.
After Comey's firing, Trump himself has interviewed several potential nominees.
Comey's sacking triggered a political firestorm with an angry opposition calling for an appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the alleged Russian influence in last year's general elections.
The president's move came days after Comey testified in Capitol Hill about the FBI's investigation into Russia's meddling into the US elections and a possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
Comey had come under fire for his handling of the investigation into Clinton's private email server.
Many Democrats believe that his announcement that he was re-opening the probe 11 days before the November 8 election cost Clinton the presidency.
Comey had courted controversy during the 2016 presidential polls when he revealed a renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton's email use, which the Democrats claimed had hurt her chances of becoming the president.
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