Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Friday criticized the idea of naming former Sen. Joe Lieberman as the next FBI director, and said he would be a “very contentious and divisive nominee” due to his “extreme views” on various issues.

“In this difficult moment in American history, when there is so much mistrust in government, the next FBI director must be a person who commands bipartisan support. He or she cannot be perceived as a political appointee or someone representing the interests of the Trump administration,” Sanders said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Joe Lieberman does not fit that description.”

“Senator Lieberman’s political history, and his extreme views on a number of issues, would make him a very contentious and divisive nominee,” he said. “That is not what we need now for the next FBI director.”

The former Connecticut senator was a longtime Democrat and the party’s vice presidential nominee in 2000. However, he served as an independent in his final term before retiring in 2013. He also endorsed Sen. John McCain for president over then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008.

Prior to that statement, Sanders, who was the runner-up to the 2016 Democratic nomination, said Lieberman would not be his “first choice” to lead the FBI.

Todd Shepherd contributed to this report

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