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Anderson University president’s name floated as potential candidate to replace James Comey at FBI

WASHINGTON – A day after the abrupt firing of now former FBI Director James Comey, White House officials said the immediate search is ongoing for his replacement.

As of Wednesday morning, John Pistole’s name had been floated among the top contenders, according to numerous national media reports from outlets including CNN, USA Today and Fox News. 

Pistole, a former deputy director at the FBI and head of the TSA, is president of Anderson University. Through an assistant, he declined all interview requests Wednesday.

During his tenure at the FBI, Pistole led counter-terrorism efforts.

In an interview with FOX 59 in May 2015, shortly after taking over at Anderson, Pistole said he maintains his security clearance in Washington and vast array of contacts within the agency.

“I am also doing some work on some advisory committees, advisory panels,” he said at the time which includes meetings with Homeland Security officials.

Pistole, who grew up near and graduated from Anderson University, helped oversee two dozen policy changes at the TSA focused on counterterrorism.

At the FBI, and after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Pistole was put in charge of the agency’s counterrorism program, helping contribute to major terrorism policies during both the Bush and Obama administrations.

“It’s tough,” Pistole said in May 2015 interview with FOX 59 on the pressures in Washington and his move to a more private life. “One of my friends said everyone has their turn in the barrel, heads of agencies, and so you just hope you weather the storm. So do, some don’t. I feel very fortunate I did weather the storm as they say.”