Late Friday night, in a vindictive petty move, Jeff Sessions fired the #2 guy at the FBI, Andrew McCabe, who was set to retire with benefits on Sunday. Now McCabe is speaking out. And Donald Trump should be very worried.
Here are 5 important things that McCabe has said since he got fired:
1. McCabe says that his firing was an attempt by Trump to undermine the Mueller investigation.
When James Comey was fired, Andrew McCabe took over as acting FBI Director. And during that time, he pushed for the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to take over the Russia investigation. Since then, Trump has wanted him fired.
McCabe told Politico, “I didn’t want anyone to be able to just walk away from the work that we had done.”
McCabe believes that Trump has been doing his best to get the Mueller investigation shut down. And he says that his firing is further evidence that the Trump administration is trying to undermine Mueller.
The former deputy director told the New York Times, “This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness.”
McCabe told ABC that, while he was at the FBI, he “witnessed significant events” (events like the firing of Comey), and “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.”
2. McCabe says he did not leak to the media.
According to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, McCabe was fired because he “made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media,” and then lied about it to investigators. But McCabe denies both of those charges.
In a statement Friday night, McCabe said that he had the authority to speak to 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.”
As he told ABC News, “The fact is this is not a leak.”
The IG report that Sessions cited, which has not yet been released, reportedly found that McCabe allowed FBI officials to talk to the Wall Street Journal in 2016 about how the FBI handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
At the time, reporters were pushing a narrative that the FBI was not being aggressive enough going after Hillary. McCabe wanted to push back against that. In order to set the record straight, he 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.”
3. McCabe says that his testimony was purposefully misquoted in the Devin Nunes memo.
Devin Nunes and Democrat Adam Schiff put out two different competing memos that talked about the closed-door testimony of McCabe earlier this year. The Nunes memo said that McCabe testified to the House Intelligence Committee that the Steele dossier was the main thing that helped the FBI to secure a FISA warrant on Carter Page, which led to the Mueller investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The Democratic memo said that McCabe did NOT say that the FISA application depended upon the dossier.
Now McCabe is settling the conflict between the two memos. McCabe says that Nunes was lying.
“We started the investigations without the dossier. We were proceeding with the investigations before we ever received that information,”he 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.”
4. McCabe says that Trump did ask him who he voted for. And he says that Trump called his wife a “loser.”
It was previously reported by the press that Trump asked McCabe who he voted for and called his wife names. But Trump and the White House have strongly denied both things. They called the reporting “pure fiction.”
Now McCabe says the reporting was accurate.
“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.”
“Of course, I disagreed with [Trump],” he 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.”
McCabe did eventually recuse himself from the Clinton investigation shortly before the election. But he says that his wife’s unsuccessful campaign took place long before he ever took charge of the investigation.
5. McCabe says that Trump is responsible for all of this.
In his statement McCabe took aim directly at Trump.
“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.”