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

Republican Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentThe Hill's Morning Report - Government is funded, but for how long? Ex-GOP lawmaker says his party is having a 'Monty Python' moment on shutdown Former GOP lawmaker: Republicans know shutdown is ‘a fight they cannot win’ MORE (Pa.) said Saturday that the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeMcCabe book: Sessions once said FBI was better off when it 'only hired Irishmen' McCabe book: Trump pushed back on officials using Putin claim that North Korea couldn't fire long-range missiles Graham seeks new Rosenstein testimony after explosive McCabe interview 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 SessionsMcCabe book: Sessions once said FBI was better off when it 'only hired Irishmen' Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general Rod Rosenstein’s final insult to Congress: Farewell time for reporters but not testimony MORE was "browbeaten" into firing McCabe Friday night after weeks of public humiliation from President TrumpDonald John TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could 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 ComeyMcCabe book: Trump pushed back on officials using Putin claim that North Korea couldn't fire long-range missiles Graham seeks new Rosenstein testimony after explosive McCabe interview Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general 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 ClintonO’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Exclusive: Biden almost certain to enter 2020 race MORE ally former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).