Former acting FBI director decries Trump 'attacks'

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 18, 2019 - Duration: 02:15s

Former acting FBI director decries Trump 'attacks'

Former top FBI official Andrew McCabe decried the "relentless attack" he said U.S. President Donald Trump has launched against the agency, according to released excerpts of an interview with NPR.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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Former acting FBI director decries Trump 'attacks'

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In an interview aired Monday, the former acting director of the FBI Andrew McCabe told National Public Radio he believes the bureau has been "under a relentless attack" from President Donald Trump.

Trump responded by attacking McCabe relentlessly.

The president on Monday tweeted: "Wow, so many lies by now disgraced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

He was fired for lying, and now his story gets even more deranged." McCabe was fired last year.

The Department of Justice said he was terminated for lying about his contacts with the press.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER ACTING FBI DIRECTOR ANDREW MCCABE, SAYING: "I believe I was fired because I opened a case against the president of the United States." But in an exclusive interview over the weekend with CBS' 60 Minutes, McCabe said he believed his firing was retribution.

After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, McCabe, then deputy director, directed agents to open two new probes into the president: Whether he obstructed justice in firing Comey, and whether he might have done so at the behest of the Kremlin.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CBS 60 MINUTES CORRESPONDENT SCOTT PELLEY, SAYING: "Are you saying that the president is in league with the Russians?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER ACTING FBI DIRECTOR ANDREW MCCABE, SAYING: "I'm saying that the FBI had reason to investigate that." But the most inflammatory revelation concerned Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

McCabe said Rosenstein raised the possibility of the cabinet invoking the Constitution's 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CBS 60 MINUTES CORRESPONDENT SCOTT PELLEY, SAYING: "Rosenstein was actually openly talking about whether there was a majority of the cabinet who would vote to remove the president." (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER ACTING FBI DIRECTOR ANDREW MCCABE, SAYING: "That's correct.

Counting votes.

Or possible votes." That allegation prompted the president's allies in Congress to vow to investigate whether Rosenstein was trying to instigate a coup.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPUBLICAN SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM OF SOUTH CAROLINA, SAYING: "We're a democracy.

People enforce the law, can't take it into their own hands.

And was this an attempted bureaucratic coup?

I don't know.

I don't know who's telling the truth." Rosenstein said his discussions about the 25th Amendment were meant in jest, not part of a plan.

McCabe told NPR he did not perceive Rosenstein ever undertook efforts to remove the president, and that the discussion reflected the alarm within the DOJ after Comey's firing.

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