5 claims McCabe made after being fired

Greg Nash

Andrew McCabe, the former No. 2 official at the FBI, made a series of comments to the press following his ouster on Friday night in which he commented on claims made about his performance and duties at the FBI.

Here are five of McCabe’s most remarkable claims:

Firing an attempt to undermine Mueller probe

McCabe said that during the time he spent as acting director at the FBI, after President Trump fired former Director James Comey, he pushed for Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel to take over the investigation into Russia’s election interference.

“I didn’t want anyone to be able to just walk away from the work that we had done,” he told Politico.

But the former deputy director says that Mueller’s ongoing investigation is being targeted by President Trump and that his own firing is further evidence that the administration is seeking to undermine it.

“This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness,” McCabe told The New York Times. {mosads}

McCabe told ABC News he “witnessed significant events” during his time at the FBI “so a concentrated effort to consistently undermine my credibility and my reputation makes perfect sense if you are trying to undermine the efforts of the special counsel and discredit the entire FBI.”

Denies leaking to media

One of the accusations against McCabe is that he “made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media,” according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. That charge comes from an internal FBI investigation that Sessions cited in firing McCabe on Friday night.

McCabe said in a statement that he had the authority to share information with the media.

“It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter,” he said. “It was the type of exchange with the media that the deputy director oversees several times per week. In fact, it was the same type of work that I continued to do under Director Wray, at his request.”

He told ABC, “the fact is this is not a leak.”

The inspector general report, which has not yet been released, reportedly found that, in 2016, McCabe allowed FBI officials to speak with The Wall Street Journal about how the agency handled the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State.

McCabe told ABC that he made the decision to supply information to reporters in order to counter a narrative that the FBI was not pursuing the Clinton investigation aggressively.

In order to get the reporter “off [the] narrative,” McCabe authorized the release of “the content of a conversation that I had had with [a senior official] from the Department of Justice” about the investigation.

Neither Comey nor current FBI Director Christopher Wray has weighed in on these claims, but Comey has been supportive of McCabe, saying after news emerged in January that McCabe would step down that he had “served with distinction.”

Accuses Republicans of misquoting testimony

What McCabe did or did not say during a closed-door congressional hearing has been a key source of controversy between Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee — and now McCabe is weighing in.

McCabe sided with the Democrats’ version of his testimony, which was recounted in a memo that House Intelligence Democrats released in February to counter one released by Republicans on the panel a few weeks prior.

Republicans insisted that McCabe testified to the committee that unverified material supplied by the so-called Steele dossier was integral to the FBI securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, arguing that helped prompt the ongoing federal probe into Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 election.

Democrats said McCabe did not claim the FISA application depended on the dossier, which McCabe now corroborates.

“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.”

McCabe’s comments could be key to the Democrats’ ongoing attempt to shore up the FBI’s Russia probe.

Says Trump asked whom he voted for, called wife a ‘loser’

McCabe said the president did ask him whether he voted for Trump in 2016, contradicting Trump’s previous denials of past news reports.

McCabe, who told ABC he “voted for every Republican candidate for president in every election” previously, said he did not vote in 2016.

But he said his decision not to vote was not motivated by Trump’s candidacy or by his wife running as a Democrat in Virginia.

McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, received political donations from then-Virginia governor and Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe (D) during her bid for state office in 2015, which has been an ongoing source of conflict between McCabe and Trump.

“In May, when Director Comey was fired and I had my own interactions with the president, he brought up my wife every time I ever spoke to him,” McCabe told CNN. He recounted four occasions in which he said Trump called his wife’s campaign a “mistake” or “problem” and called his wife a “loser.”

The alleged “loser” comment was previously reported by NBC News and denied as “pure fiction” by the White House.

“Of course, I disagreed with [Trump],” McCabe told CNN. “I don’t see my wife’s decision to try to enter public life to help her community [have] greater access to health care as a mistake or a problem.”

Trump in January denied asking McCabe whom he had voted for, although he also said he didn’t consider such a question “a big deal.”

McCabe has said his wife’s unsuccessful campaign happened well before he took charge of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton. However, he did eventually recuse himself from the investigation days before the presidential election.

Argues Trump is to blame

McCabe went after Trump explicitly in the statement he released following his firing, further escalating the bad blood between Trump and former FBI leaders.

“The [Office of the Inspector General’s] focus on me and this report became a 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,” he said. “For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an unrelenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country. Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us. The President’s tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all.”

The full allegations against McCabe — beyond the alleged leak and a “lack of candor” — are not known, because the inspector general’s report is not yet public. McCabe’s decision to step down in January, and his subsequent firing Friday, just two days before he was set to officially retire, were apparently both prompted by findings in the report, which is the result of a yearlong investigation and expected to be released later this spring.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday said the decision whether or not to fire McCabe would be made by Sessions, but added that he “has had some very troubling behavior and [is] by most accounts a bad actor.”

Those comments follow months of criticism directed at McCabe by Trump.

McCabe’s official retirement was planned for Sunday, when he would be eligible to receive his full pension benefits. McCabe’s firing on Friday puts his pension into doubt.

Some observers expect McCabe to seek legal action — even potentially filing a lawsuit — against the administration.

“McCabe will win his appeal,” predicted Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu (Calif.).

Tags Andrew McCabe Andrew McCabe Donald Trump Hillary Clinton James Comey James Comey Jeff Sessions Robert Mueller Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Special Counsel investigation Trump–Russia dossier

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video