President Donald Trump says "a fast decision" might be made on selecting a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director, possibly by late next week.
Trump told reporters on Saturday he could decide Comey's successor as early as next week, before he leaves for Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestine and Rome - his first foreign travel as president.
"Even that is possible", Trump said, speaking on Air Force One before departing for Lynchburg, Virginia, where he delivered a commencement address.
If appointed, she would be the FBI's first female director. John Cornyn of Texas, attorney Alice Fisher and Judge Michael Garcia for the permanent position. "They've been vetted over their lifetime essentially, but very well-known, highly respected, really talented people".
The Trump administration is looking to fill the job, which requires Senate confirmation, after Trump abruptly fired Director James Comey on Tuesday.
After comments that the administration intends to move "very quickly" on the process, a reporter in the White House press pool asked the president if that could mean finding a permanent replacement to spearhead the agency by the end of the week.
The 49-year-old Mr McCabe, a career FBI agent, has taken part in a number of high-profile investigations, including probes into the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and the attacks against USA installations in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.
Critics have assailed Mr Trump for abruptly dismissing Mr Comey just as the agency is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, and possible Moscow ties to the Trump presidential campaign. Before that, he was the assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, appointed by President George W. Bush. "By unilaterally announcing his conclusions regarding how the matter should be resolved, Comey arrogated the attorney general's authority to himself", Barr, who served as attorney general from 1991 to 1993, wrote. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and New Jersey governor Chris Christie have figured on other lists.
Mr Comey promised only that he could be honest, The New York Times reported.
Mr Trump denied that account in a Fox News interview on Friday.
Drawing parallels to what was widely viewed as a long-shot bid by Mr Trump for the presidency, he urged the more than 18,000 graduates to fight for what they believe in and to "challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures".
Mr Clapper said America's founding fathers had created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Mr Trump as president, that was now under assault and "eroding".