Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will appear on “60 Minutes” to discuss some of his time at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the investigation into whether President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.
But as snippets of the interview were released Thursday morning, Trump began attacking the former FBI official and officials at the DOJ began pushing back on his claims.
During his interview, McCabe claimed he participated in meetings with other DOJ officials to discuss using the 25th Amendment to oust Trump.
“There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment,” Pelley said. “These were the eight days from [Fired FBI Director James] Comey’s firing to the point that Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel. And the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what do with the president.”
McCabe also said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein repeatedly discussed wearing a wire during conversations with Trump — something Rosenstein has previously denied as a joke. Rosenstein also said previously that there was never any serious discussion about using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump. Shortly after details of McCabe’s interview were released, the DOJ released a statement to NBC denying the former official’s claims.
"The Deputy Attorney General never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references," the statement said. "As the Deputy Attorney General previously has stated, based on his personal dealings with the President, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the DAG in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment."
There is some wiggle room in the statement, as it claims Rosenstein never authorized any recording. That doesn’t mean Rosenstein never seriously considered the measure. CBS’s Scott Pelley, who conducted the interview with McCabe, said on “CBS This Morning” that McCabe said Rosenstein didn’t merely joke about wearing a wire, but that “it came up more than once, and it was so serious that he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it.”
Nothing in the FBI’s denial negates this. Rosenstein may have talked to the lawyers and never authorized the use of a wire.
Vice President Mike Pence also took aim at McCabe’s interview, telling NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell that he "never heard of any discussion of the 25th amendment, and, frankly, I find any mention of it to be absurd."
Trump also excoriated McCabe using his preferred messaging vehicle: Twitter.
“Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a “poor little Angel” when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax - a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of “insurance policy” in case I won....” Trump tweeted.
He followed up that tweet with another, where he made a reference to McCabe’s wife running for political office. The FBI has previously said McCabe didn’t take over the Clinton email investigation until after his wife lost.
“Many of the top FBI brass were fired, forced to leave, or left. McCabe’s wife received BIG DOLLARS from Clinton people for her campaign - he gave Hillary a pass. McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted.