President Donald Trump announced on the White House South Lawn Friday that he will nominate William Barr as his next attorney general.
Barr served as attorney general previously under President George H. W. Bush.
He must still be confirmed by the Senate and, if so, would oversee special counsel Robert Mueller at a critical time in his investigation that involves the president.
“He was my first choice from day one, respected by Republicans and respected by Democrats,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House on a trip to Kansas. “He will be nominated for the U.S. attorney general and hopefully that process will go very quickly, and I think it will go very quickly,” Trump said.
Trump called Barr “one of the most respected jurists in the country, highly respected lawyer,” and “a terrific man, a terrific person, a brilliant man.” The president said he didn’t know Barr before he began the search for a new attorney general.
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Trump told advisers Thursday he intended to nominate Barr, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.
The presidents’ aides had previously floated the idea of Barr retaking his post in the Justice Department, sources said.
The Washington Post first reported the news. Barr did not respond to ABC’s request for comment.
A source close to Barr said he is likely to accept the job if offered.