Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe: ‘It Is Not Accurate’ That James Comey Lost Respect Within The FBI

When FBI Director James Comey first learned of his firing, he was in a room full of his colleagues and thought it was an elaborate joke because Trump hadn’t bothered to notify him beforehand. This humiliation will in no way endear Comey’s peers to sympathize with Trump’s cause (to kill the Russia investigation). In fact, the whole of the FBI is said to be absolutely gutted over the loss of Comey, which is something that was reinforced this morning by Acting Director Andrew McCabe in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Yes, McCabe, a 21-year veteran of the DOJ, headed to the Senate this morning to vociferously defend his former boss. He’s now sitting in Comey’s shoes and probably won’t be there for much longer, once Trump hears what he has to say. Here’s the thing — after the firing backlash began, Trump tweet-claimed that Comey had “lost the confidence of almost everyone” in the bureau, and the termination was aimed at “bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI.” And in response to these assertions, the acting FBI director said nope:

“No sir, that is not accurate… I can tell you that I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard… It has been the greatest privilege and honor of my professional life to work with him… i can confidently tell you that the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to [him].”

Not only did McCabe respect Comey greatly, he insisted that the feeling extended throughout the bureau, which shuts down Trump’s claim that Comey had grown incapable of leading the FBI:

“Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day. We are a large organization, we are 36,500 people across this country, across this globe. We have a diversity of opinions about many things. But I can confidently tell you that the majority, the vast majority of FBI employees, enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey.”

In this next clip, McCabe fielded a question involving Trump’s claim (in his firing letter) that he appreciated Comey telling him, “on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.” McCabe said this “is not standard practice.” He did not draw conclusions, but now, folks are left to decide whether Comey was actually spilling procedural details, or Trump was making stuff up.

Finally, McCabe assured the committee that he will not be updating the White House on the future state of the investigation into Trump-Russia ties.