Another of Trump’s FBI targets goes
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, one of Donald Trump’s top targets in his running feud with the bureau, has stepped down – under pressure from Director Christopher Wray, according to a report.
Despite the US President’s constant criticism of Mr McCabe, the White House insisted Mr Trump played no role in the departure.
Mr McCabe was expected to retire later this year.
Instead, his sudden exit came after Mr Wray expressed concern about an upcoming inspector general’s report on the performance of Mr McCabe and other senior FBI officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, when the feds were investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails and Team Trump’s ties to Russia, The
New York Times reported. Mr Wray offered Mr McCabe, 49, a transfer the veteran FBI man saw as a demotion, so he decided to pack it in. But he’ll remain on the payroll using accrued time off until mid-March.
Mr Trump made no secret of his dislike and mistrust of Mr McCabe, believing he was too tight with former FBI director James Comey.
After Mr Trump fired Mr Comey in May last year, the President was enraged when he saw on TV that Mr Comey was returning to the capital from California on an FBI plane, and phoned Mr McCabe demanding to know who approved it, NBC News reported, citing sources.
Mr McCabe told him he didn’t authorise the flight, but would have if asked.
Mr Trump then suggested Mr McCabe call his wife and ask her how it felt to be a loser – a reference to her failed bid for a Virginia state Senate seat in 2015.
Mr McCabe replied “OK, sir”, and Mr Trump hung up on him, NBC News reported.
The President had also targeted Mr McCabe over the special counsel’s ongoing investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump presidential campaign, and further criticised him because his wife accepted a donation connected to a long-time ally of the Clintons.
“How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation ... be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” the President tweeted on December 23.