Presidential historian: McCabe firing will be known as 'Friday Night Slaughter'

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsNadler sends Whitaker questions on possible contacts with Trump over Mueller probe Graham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Martin, Bobby and the will to change MORE's firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeHow the Clinton machine flooded the FBI with Trump-Russia dirt … until agents bit Barr’s first task as AG: Look at former FBI leaders’ conduct FISA shocker: DOJ official warned Steele dossier was connected to Clinton, might be biased MORE Friday night was reminiscent of the "Saturday Night Massacre" during the waning days of the Nixon administration, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said.

"This'll be known as the 'Friday Night Slaughter,' " Brinkley told CNN. "The very idea that Jeff Sessions hasn't released something to inform the public of what this is, it was done in sort of a cloak of secrecy late at night, bizarre fashion. The fact that he was about to have his pension and they couldn't let it go."

"It's something very cruel and sad that's occurred tonight," he continued. "And I hope our country is going to wake up, I mean, Donald Trump is struggling for his life. He's paranoid, he decided McCabe was too close to Comey, and he decided to get rid of anybody and anything that's standing in his way of kind of survival mode right now."

ADVERTISEMENT

"I think that we can say tonight that the Trump White House is at war with the FBI," he added.

Nixon's infamous "Saturday Night Massacre" occurred when the president ordered the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox and accepted the resignations of then-Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus.

Sessions fired McCabe on Friday following reports from the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility and Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which reported that McCabe made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and "lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions," according to a statement from Sessions.

McCabe denied the claim in a statement, arguing he was being targeted over his proximity to former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyPavlich: Mueller’s indictment of the media How the Clinton machine flooded the FBI with Trump-Russia dirt … until agents bit Mueller’s report: Release enough, but not too much MORE, whom President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORE fired last year. McCabe acknowledged he is a potential witness in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation.

"Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey," McCabe said.

"The OIG's focus on me and this report became part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn."