The Slatest

McCabe Gets Ready to Talk: Fired FBI No. 2 Wrote Memos About Trump Interactions

Andrew McCabe testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee meeting on the FBI's budget requests for FY2018 on June 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Andrew McCabe testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee meeting on the FBI’s budget requests for FY2018 on June 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Pete Marovich/Getty Images

Fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe says he’s not going to take it anymore. After being on the receiving end of criticism from none other than the president of the United States for more than a year, McCabe is ready to stand up for himself shortly after he was fired late Friday night—around 26 hours before his official retirement. And it seems like he’ll have some help to make his case.

McCabe kept personal memos regarding his interactions with Trump, the Associated Press revealed Saturday afternoon in a bit of news that other outlets quickly confirmed. McCabe’s memos are apparently very similar to the ones that former FBI chief James Comey had written about his interactions with Trump before he was fired.

Word of McCabe’s memos came shortly after Trump reacted with nothing short of glee at news of his firing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump said it was “a great day for Democracy,” claiming that McCabe knew “all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!” Hours later, Trump reiterated the point saying that the “Fake News is beside themselves that McCabe was caught, called out and fired.”

Former CIA director John Brennan, who is a frequent Trump critic, seemingly couldn’t believe what he was reading and he fired off his own tweet: “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history.”

Former FBI chief James Comey also took to Twitter but with a warning: “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said that while not enough is known about the substance of why McCabe was fired, that’s not the only thing that is important. “The timing appears cruel and a cave that compromised DOJ independence to please an increasingly erratic President who should’ve played no role here,” Holder wrote. “This is dangerous.”

In an hour-long interview with CNN, McCabe vehemently denied he ever “misled the inspector general in any way.” He pushed the same message to the New York Times. “The idea that I was dishonest is just wrong,” he said. “This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness.” In an interview with Politico, McCabe called the campaign against him “personally devastating” and “tough on my family.”

McCabe is characterizing his firing as part of a larger effort to discredit the FBI and the ongoing investigation about Russia’s suspected meddling in the 2016 campaign.

Sessions insisted Friday night that McCabe’s firing was the result of an “extensive and fair” investigation that concluded he had made “an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor—including under oath—on multiple occasions.” But McCabe isn’t buying it and says his firing is part of a larger pattern. “This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally,” McCabe said. “It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.”