GOP lawmaker: McCabe's firing ‘looks like retribution and a bit vindictive’

Republican Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: WHO vs. Trump; Bernie's out The biggest political upsets of the decade Ex-GOP lawmaker: Former colleagues privately say they're 'disgusted and exhausted' by Trump MORE (Pa.) said Saturday that the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeFBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Senate GOP set to ramp up Obama-era probes Showtime miniseries to feature Jeff Daniels as Comey, Brendan Gleeson as Trump MORE on Friday looked to be a "vindictive" move by the president.

In an interview with CNN, Dent said that while he would wait for the inspector general's report to judge McCabe, his firing looked like retribution from the White House.

"This firing looks a bit forced, a bit rushed. Candidly, it looks like retribution and a bit vindictive," Dent said. "And I think it's unfortunate. The man said he's resigning, you know, and on a Friday night before his 50th birthday he's fired to take away his pension? I don't like the optics of this, I really don't."

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Dent added that he believed Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Tuberville breaks DC self-quarantine policy to campaign MORE was "browbeaten" into firing McCabe Friday night after weeks of public humiliation from President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE.

"It looks like the attorney general may have been browbeaten into this, he's been publicly humiliated and shamed by the president on multiple occasions, and I just don't think this bodes well."

Sessions fired McCabe late Friday night, citing dual reports from the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility and Office of the Inspector General that stated that McCabe improperly disclosed information to a news reporter 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.

McCabe, however, portrayed his firing as retribution for what he witnessed following the firing of FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump: Yates either lying or grossly incompetent Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing Trump knocks Sally Yates ahead of congressional testimony MORE last year.

"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 in a statement.

McCabe, formerly the No. 2 official at the FBI, was a longtime target of Trump and Republicans in Congress over his wife's campaign donations during a 2015 state Senate run from top Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBlumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column Hillary Clinton touts student suspended over crowded hallway photo: 'John Lewis would be proud' MORE ally former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).