McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeThe curious timeline for taking down Trump Federal prosecutors interviewed multiple FBI officials for Russia probe review: report Brendan Gleeson lands Trump role in CBS miniseries based on Comey memoir MORE said Tuesday that none of the top eight congressional leaders objected when he briefed them in 2017 on the bureau's decision to open a counterintelligence investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE.

"The purpose of the briefing was to let our congressional leadership know exactly what we’d been doing," McCabe, who was the acting FBI director at the time, said during an interview on NBC's "Today" show.

McCabe acknowledged that he ordered the investigation, but pushed back against suggestions that he'd acted alone in doing so. He said that he consulted with his team, reviewed it with bureau lawyers and discussed it with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinDemocrats ask judge to force McGahn to comply with subpoena Democrats ask court to force DOJ's hand on Mueller grand jury materials Washington celebrates diplomacy — and baseball — at Meridian Ball MORE before moving forward.

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"And I told Congress what we had done," he said.

"No one objected," he added in the interview. "Not on legal grounds, not on constitutional grounds and not based on the facts."

The New York Times first reported last month that the FBI launched an inquiry into whether Trump was working for Russia after the president fired former bureau chief James ComeyJames Brien ComeyThere are poor ideas, bad ones and Facebook's Libra Trump has considered firing official who reported whistleblower complaint to Congress: report Broadcast, cable news networks to preempt regular programming for Trump impeachment coverage MORE. McCabe took over as acting director after Comey's ouster.

The "Gang of Eight" consists of the top two leaders from each party in each chamber of Congress. Representatives around the time of the 2017 meeting would have included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Graham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.), then-Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis Ryan Retirees should say 'no thanks' to Romney's Social Security plan California Governor Newsom and family dress as 2020 Democrats for Halloween DC's liaison to rock 'n' roll MORE (R-Wis.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action MORE (D-N.Y.) and then-House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Speaker Pelosi, it's time to throw American innovators a lifeline Why Americans must tune in to the Trump impeachment hearings MORE (D-Calif.).

McCabe has been on a media blitz in recent days ahead of the release of his book. The former deputy FBI director was fired last year after an internal report found he lacked candor in interviews with investigators.

The former FBI official made headlines with a "60 Minutes" interview over the weekend in which he said there were conversations among Justice Department officials raising the possibility of removing Trump via the 25th Amendment, and that Rosenstein had offered to wear a wire around the president.

The Justice Department issued a statement in response reiterating Rosenstein's denial of the claim, which the deputy attorney general called "inaccurate and factually incorrect."

McCabe later walked back his remarks, with a spokesperson issuing a statement that he did not "participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions."

Trump and his allies have seized on McCabe's comments to paint the bureau as biased against the president. Trump tweeted on Monday that McCabe was "fired for lying," and suggested he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "look like they were planning a very illegal act."

Rosenstein will reportedly leave his post at the Justice Department in the coming weeks.