When Meghan McCain asked former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe if he actually believed that Russians ordered President Trump to fire James Comey, he answered, “We don’t know.”
In the course of doing media for his new book this week, McCabe has revealed behind-the-scenes details, explaining away the disorderly conduct going on at the FBI HQ over the last two years. On Sunday’s “60 Minutes” interview, he admitted top national security advisers strategized about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. On “The View” Tuesday, he revealed what evidence caused him to believe the president was a Russian puppet.
“The things that were causing us to believe that a threat to national security might exist had been building up throughout the investigation,” he told McCain. “It was the way the president had been interacting with us, the way he talked about the case publicly, tried to undermine our effort. To me, he made it clear he wasn’t happy about what we were doing.”
McCabe indicates that he believed Russia was behind the firing of former FBI director Comey, and consequentially his appointment as acting FBI director.
“Add to it the president’s own public statements indicating that he was thinking about Russia when he fired the director of the FBI,” he said. “We felt our obligation to act in those circumstances was undeniable.”
Former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe on whether he believes Russians ordered President Trump to fire then-FBI Director James Comey: "We don't know and we certainly didn't know that at the time." https://t.co/oI4AbS4WQj pic.twitter.com/7maaGdpP3a
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 19, 2019
Last spring, after the Justice Department’s inspector general found that McCabe had made a leak to the media “designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership,” and “lacked candor—including under oath—on multiple occasions,” he was fired by former attorney general Jeff Sessions. This happened just days before McCabe had planned to retire.
“Bear with me on this one,” McCain told McCabe. “I don’t believe you’re a reliable narrator. And I’m not convinced this isn’t just some kind of P.R. campaign to stop yourself from getting indicted.”
“I would like you to say right here on national TV that you are not a source for The New York Times, you were never a source for The New York Times or any other publication, considering that is what you were accused of lying about. Basically, were you ever a leaker to The New York Times?”
“Absolutely not,” McCabe said. “Not at any time ever.”
McCain asked why Comey denied the claims that he had approved McCabe’s leaks to the press. “I don’t know why Jim Comey doesn’t remember the conversations that we had in the same way that I do,” he said.
McCabe insisted that he was one of the two people at the FBI who had “the authority to disclose information to the media.” This raises at least two questions McCabe needs to answer. If he had the authority, why did he feel the need to deny it? And why would the DOJ fire him for making an “unauthorized disclosure to the news media” if the FBI had given him the authority to do so?
McCabe’s new book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” is self-described as “a dramatic and candid account of his career.” Hopefully, readers of the book will get an even more candid account of Russia’s role in McCabe’s career.