Comey praises McCabe: He 'stood tall' while 'small people' tried to tear down the FBI

Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE gave his support to departing Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Monday, saying McCabe “stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on.”

“He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well,” Comey tweeted.

Comey’s message comes after it was reported that McCabe would be stepping down from his position amid pressure from Republicans and President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE.

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Trump had attacked McCabe on Twitter, accusing him of bias over his wife's bid for state office in Virginia. She ran as a Democrat and received nearly $500,000 in donations from a super PAC linked to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

Trump has also repeatedly attacked the FBI in recent months amid the ongoing special counsel probe into Russian election interference, saying last year that the agency's reputation "is in Tatters — worst in History!"

The New York Times reported that FBI Director Christopher Wray pressured McCabe to step down over an upcoming inspector general report on McCabe and other top Justice Department officials’ actions during the 2016 presidential election.

Wray reportedly offered McCabe a job at a lower level of the agency, effectively demoting him, but McCabe chose to leave the bureau instead.

McCabe has been targeted by GOP lawmakers, who criticize the FBI over its handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, a probe that included McCabe.

The president also reportedly asked McCabe whom he voted for in 2016 during an Oval Office meeting last year, while McCabe was serving as the acting FBI director, and also told McCabe to ask his wife how it felt to be a loser after her failed campaign.

Comey was fired by Trump last May, a move that eventually led to the appointment of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE.

The announcement of McCabe stepping down came the same day that the House Intelligence Committee voted to release a GOP-crafted memo alleging "shocking" surveillance abuses at the Department of Justice. 

Democrats say Republicans are attempting to undermine the Justice Department in order to weaken Mueller.