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

Republican Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentThe Memo: Never Trumpers sink into gloom as Gonzalez bows out The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Influential Republicans threaten to form new party MORE (Pa.) said Saturday that the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeAndrew McCabe says Nassar case represents 'worst dereliction of duty' he's seen at FBI Capitol Police warning of potential for violence during rally backing rioters: report McCabe says law enforcement should take upcoming right-wing rally 'very seriously' 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 SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE was "browbeaten" into firing McCabe Friday night after weeks of public humiliation from President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default 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 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 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 ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE ally former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).