Grassley: McCabe should not take over FBI because of 'political problems'

The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe shouldn't take over the agency after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey because of his own alleged political baggage.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyBiden confronts sinking poll numbers Congress needs to push for more accountability in gymnasts' tragic sex abuse Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour MORE (R-Iowa) was referring to McCabe's handling of the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHeller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 MORE email probe, which raised eyebrows because of political connections between McCabe's wife and a prominent Clinton ally. 

"He's got political problems, because of [Virginia Gov. Terry] McAuliffe helping his wife, and I don't think he's the person that should be taking over," Grassley told reporters.

McCabe, who previously served as the FBI's deputy director, took over the agency's top role on Tuesday after  Trump abruptly fired Comey. 

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But the acting FBI director has been the subject of his own political controversy. A super PAC supporting his wife's bid for the Virginia state senate took hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton supporter.

The FBI's inspector general is investigating the case to determine whether McCabe should have recused himself from the Clinton email probe.

Grassley has also turned his attention to McCabe as he investigates the controversial privately produced dossier on Trump's alleged Russian connections and whether the British spy who compiled it was on the FBI payroll.

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 and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who both recommended Comey's ouster to the president, are interviewing candidates to serve as interim FBI director until a permanent replacement for Comey is selected and confirmed.

Updated at 5:18 p.m.