President Trump said Thursday that he is nearing a decision on who should replace former FBI Director James Comey, and told reporters at the White House that former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman is on the list of finalists for the position.

"We're very close to an FBI director," Trump said, adding that he would announce the new director "soon."

Lieberman was among a handful of candidates who met with Trump on Wednesday at the White House, according to press secretary Sean Spicer. Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe also met with the president this week.

Trump's controversial decision to remove Comey from an FBI that was actively investigating his campaign touched off a series of events that ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the case.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein moved to put a special counsel in place after reports suggested Comey possessed notes from a February meeting with Trump, during which the president allegedly encouraged the then-FBI director to drop an investigation of then-national security adviser Mike Flynn.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning that he had become the victim of a "political with hunt" and later told news anchors at a closed-door lunch that the appointment of a special counsel "hurts our country."