McCabe says Republicans 'mischaracterized' testimony to bolster Nunes memo

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeThe FBI should turn off the FARA faucet John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Carter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe MORE on Friday accused Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee of having "mischaracterized" his testimony used to bolster a controversial memo alleging surveillance abuses by FBI and Justice Department officials.

McCabe, who was fired Friday as the No. 2 FBI official, told CNN that information from an opposition research dossier on President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic On The Money: Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban | Trump attorney says he will fight release of tax returns Lack of transatlantic cooperation on trade threatens global climate change goals MORE's ties to Russia did not comprise the "majority" of information for the FBI's request to obtain a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

"We started the investigations without the dossier. We were proceeding with the investigations before we ever received that information," McCabe told CNN. "Was the dossier material important to the package? Of course, it was. As was every fact included in that package. Was it the majority of what was in the package? Absolutely not."

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A memo released by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee in early February said McCabe told the committee that "no surveillance warrant would have been sought" were it not for the information from the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The memo said the dossier information was "essential" in acquiring the warrants to monitor Page.

McCabe told CNN his testimony was "selectively quoted" and "mischaracterized" to bolster GOP claims that the Steele dossier was the key to obtaining a surveillance warrant on Page. 

Republicans have blasted the Steele dossier, calling it unreliable because it was funded in part by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive things to watch in two Ohio special election primaries Clintons, Stacey Abrams meeting Texas Democrats Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections MORE's campaign.

The memo, drafted by staff for Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe Lawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection Tucker Carlson claims NSA leaked private emails to journalists MORE (R-Calif.), did state conclusively that the investigation into whether Trump campaign officials had improper contacts with Russia began with information related to George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE, the Trump campaign foreign policy aide who last year pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators about his foreign contacts.

The New York Times previously reported that Papadopoulos bragged to an Australian diplomat that Russians had damaging information on Clinton before the hack of the DNC became publicly known. The Australian government then reportedly tipped off the FBI to what Papadopoulos had said.

McCabe was fired Friday evening by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases MORE, who said that the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility and Office of the Inspector General had found McCabe made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and "lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions."

"Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately," Sessions said in a statement.