F rom the political left and right, Donald Trump is taking it on the chin over the firing of James Comey.

And now, on the eve of his first overseas trip as president, Trump is racing to choose Comey’s successor at the FBI to quickly put the ruckus behind him.

On Sunday, he sounded optimistic about the chances of finding the right candidate on a tight schedule. “Even that is possible,” he told reporters on Air Force One, suggesting it would be possible to find a replacement by Friday, when he leaves for Saudi Arabia, the first leg of a trip that will also take him to Israel and the Vatican.

“We can make a fast decision,” said the president. “These are outstanding people that are very well known, highest level. So we can make a fast decision.”

The Trump team, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is currently considering 11 candidates, including acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, Texas senator and Republican majority whip John Cornyn, Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, and South Carolina rep. Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor and state attorney known for his hard-edged style.

Established in 1908 as the “Bureau of Investigation,” the FBI functions both as a domestic intelligence and security service that works on counterterrorism and counterintelligence, as well as the nation’s prime law enforcement agency. The agency, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is composed of five branches: intelligence, national security, criminal, cyber response and services, and science and technology.

Although most of the FBI’s 35,000 employees work inside the United States, the FBI also operates 60 offices and 15 more sub offices in US embassies and consulates around the world. FBI directors are appointed by the president of the United States for no longer than ten years, but must also be approved by the Senate. The next FBI director will have to juggle a political hot potato. Former director Comey confirmed that members of the Trump election team are being investigated for alleged ties to the Russian government. How the next director handles that investigation may determine the fortunes of the Trump administration going forward. (Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 660)