In a Tuesday morning tweet, President Trump attacked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe:
It’s difficult to say with any degree of certainty that the president was lying when he published the above tweet. However, it can be said that the content of the tweet is wildly misleading.
When Jill McCabe ran for a seat in the Virginia state senate, a “political action committee affiliated with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who has ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, contributed almost $500,000,” according to Newsweek. “She also received $207,788 from the Virginia Democratic Party, which is connected to McAuliffe, a Democrat.”
Jill McCabe even stated: “Once I decided to run, my husband had no former role in my campaign other than to be a supportive husband to me and our children … As a federal official ... everyone who participated in our campaign understood and respected that he could not participate.”
On November 3, 2015, the election was held, and Jill McCabe lost. Just under three months later, Andrew McCabe became deputy director of the FBI. Following the firing of James Comey, McCabe assumed the role of acting director of the FBI.
Fox News quotes Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who has concerns regarding ethics:
“…the FBI asserts that Mr. McCabe did not have an ‘oversight role’ in the Clinton investigation until he became the number two in command in 2016. However, the FBI's statement does not foreclose the possibility that Mr. McCabe had a non oversight role while associate deputy director. Thus, even during the time period in which his wife's political campaign received approximately half a million dollars from Gov. McAuliffe's political action committee, and over $200,000 from the Virginia Democrat Party, he may have had a role in the investigation and did not recuse himself."
McAuliffe “has ties” to Hillary Clinton. As a prominent Democratic governor, that's not at all shocking. However, it should be noted that McAuliffe’s ties to the Clintons are indeed substantial. According to Poltico, “McAuliffe still talks to Bill Clinton every day, sometimes several times a day. They’ve talked in passing about a White House run.” Additionally, “he guaranteed the mortgage on their house in Washington” in 1999.
The Atlantic notes that McAuliffe even chaired Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008.
However, none of this means that Andrew McCabe received $700,000 "from Hillary” for his wife’s campaign. Jill McCabe received approximately $500,000 from a PAC affiliated with McAuliffe, and another $207,788 from the Virginia Democratic Party.
Sen. Grassley's concerns regarding possible ethical issues shouldn't be dismissed out of hand, but President Trump’s tweet claiming that "Andrew McCabe got $700,000 from Hillary" is disingenuous at best, and a flat lie at worst. Yet, as of this publication, the tweet has gotten 36,000 “likes,” and 11,000 retweets.
[This story was updated after publication to include further information about McAuliffe's ties to the Clintons]