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

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeNew FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification Graham to release report on his probe into Russia investigation before election Trump cites 'Obamagate' in urging GOP to get 'tough' on Democrats 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 TrumpJustice says it will recommend Trump veto FISA bill Fauci: Nominating conventions may be able to go on as planned Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally 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 RosensteinSenate Republicans issue first subpoena in Biden-Burisma probe Graham to release report on his probe into Russia investigation before election McConnell embraces subpoena of Obama-era officials MORE before moving forward.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 ComeyNew FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification FBI director Wray orders internal review of Flynn case Grenell says intelligence community working to declassify Flynn-Kislyak transcripts 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 McConnellBossie, Lewandowski warned Trump he was in trouble in 2020: report FISA 'reform': Groundhog Day edition The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter MORE (R-Ky.), then-Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanLobbying world John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America House Democrat calls for halt to lawmakers sleeping in their offices MORE (R-Wis.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThe Democrats' out-party advantage in 2020 Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' MORE (D-N.Y.) and then-House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcCarthy urges Democrats to pull surveillance bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response 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.