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 SessionsOne quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors Biden fills immigration court with Trump hires Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report 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 TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal 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 ComeyBarr threatened to resign over Trump attempts to fire Wray: report 'Fox News Sunday' to mark 25 years on air Showtime developing limited series about Jan. 6 Capitol riot 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 ClintonAmerica departs Afghanistan as China arrives Young, diverse voters fueled Biden victory over Trump McConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' 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.