FBI head threatened to resign after Sessions pressured him to fire deputy director: report

FBI Director Christopher Wray threatened to resign after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Martin, Bobby and the will to change Overnight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' MORE pressured him to remove Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Axios reported Monday.

Wray reportedly told Sessions that he would resign if McCabe was removed from his post, explosive allegations that will only increase attention on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE's interactions with the Justice Department.

Sessions also allegedly told White House counsel Don McGahn about Wray’s response to the pressure for him to fire McCabe. McGahn replied by telling Sessions that McCabe wasn’t worth losing Wray, according to Axios.


If Wray had resigned, he would be the second FBI director to leave the Trump administration, after Trump fired James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Barr’s first task as AG: Look at former FBI leaders’ conduct Dems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell MORE in May.

Trump interviewed McCabe to replace Comey, but eventually tapped Wray to take over as director.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said that Trump "believes politically-motivated senior leaders including former Director Comey and others he empowered have tainted the agency’s reputation for unbiased pursuit of justice."

"The president appointed Chris Wray because he is a man of true character and integrity and the right choice to clean up the misconduct at the highest levels of the FBI and give the rank and file confidence in their leadership," Shah said.

The FBI and Justice Department declined to comment to Axios. 

Republicans have harshly criticized McCabe over the FBI’s handling of the probe into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonElise Stefanik seeks to tackle GOP’s women ‘crisis’ ahead of 2020 Russian pop star linked to Trump Tower meeting cancels US tour Graham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies MORE’s use of a private email server, as well as the Justice Department's investigation into Russian election interference.

The FBI ruled that McCabe did not have any role in the probe into Clinton’s use of the private server while his wife ran for state office in Virginia as a Democrat, despite GOP claims that he posed a conflict of interest in the investigation.

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), a close Clinton ally, donated to Jill McCabe's failed campaign in his state.

Several GOP lawmakers have called for McCabe to be removed from the agency. He was interviewed by congressional committees behind closed doors for hours last month.

McCabe is also reportedly planning on retiring from the job in March, when he will be eligible for full pension benefits.

Trump attacked McCabe on Twitter last month.