President Donald Trump on Wednesday named former FBI Director James Comey as his nominee for secretary of homeland security.
Comey, the nation’s top law enforcement official, is stepping down from the position, effective in 90 days.
Comey’s confirmation comes amid a wave of public scrutiny of his handling of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.
The White House said the new position would be Trump’s first since January 2018.
The president has been eager to bring Comey in to run the bureau, which has been dogged by the investigation and by allegations of bias against Clinton.
Comey was nominated to lead the FBI in 2018 by President Bill Clinton and is widely viewed as one of the bureau’s most respected leaders.
He has been a longtime Clinton ally and confidante, and was instrumental in her campaign for the presidency in 2016.
Comey has been one of Trump’s most outspoken critics, questioning his loyalty to the president and saying he is a “showboat” and “grandstander.”
He has also faced criticism for what critics say was an overly aggressive approach to the investigation into Clinton’s emails and for the FBI director’s handling of a probe into Russia’s election interference.
He was fired by the president on May 9, three days after a private dinner in the White House with Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The FBI director was one of several top officials to endorse the president’s choice for the post.
Comey said in his statement that he would be honored to serve and thank the President and Cabinet members for their confidence in me.
Comey will lead the National Security Agency, which oversees intelligence collection and analysis, according to his nomination statement.
The Senate confirmed former FBI head Robert Mueller in April.
He will be the third senior FBI official to lead a federal agency.
Mueller was the first deputy director in three years.
The confirmation comes just a day after Trump nominated former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, the White Senate said Wednesday.
Pruitt was one a handful of Trump cabinet picks who have faced criticism from Democrats and liberal groups.
In addition to Comey, Trump named former Oklahoma Gov.
Mary Fallin as the deputy secretary of the Interior, a position that is critical to the country’s ability to manage and protect rivers and other natural resources.
The new position is a nod to Trump’s desire to get federal resources back to their rightful places, according the White house.
Fallin was among those who initially endorsed Pruitt, but she resigned from the agency’s board after a number of controversial comments she made on the subject.
She has also been accused of seeking to use public lands for political purposes.