On Monday, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe stepped down a few months before his expected retirement announcement was due to arrive. This follows a year of reported needling by Trump, including a get-to-know-you Oval Office meeting where Trump asked McCabe who he voted for in the presidential election. After that conversation, Trump badgered McCabe on Twitter a few times and reportedly pressured FBI Director Christopher Wrap to fire his deputy, but Wray refused to do so.
Now that McCabe’s out, we might expect to hear more about Trump’s too-close-for-comfort antics with yet another FBI official (remember, he demanded “loyalty” from James Comey). And as if on cue, NBC News is reporting the contents of a particularly brazen phone call between the president and McCabe, which picks up after Trump asked why James Comey flew on an FBI plane the day after Trump fired him:
McCabe told the president he hadn’t been asked to authorize Comey’s flight, but if anyone had asked, he would have approved it, … the president was silent for a moment and then turned on McCabe, suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser — an apparent reference to a failed campaign for state office in Virginia that McCabe’s wife made in 2015.
McCabe replied, “OK, sir.” Trump then hung up the phone.
“OK, sir.” Well, how else does one respond to such a directive?
NBC spoke to three sources who claimed to have knowledge of this call, although the White House has denied the truthfulness of these sources while calling the report “pure fiction.” However, it’s not hard to believe that Trump would say this, for he was already miffed over Jill McCabe receiving campaign donations from a PAC that’s run by pal of Hillary Clinton.
If this report is true, then it’s easy to see why McCabe would have been pushed to the point of going on “terminal leave” two months before his retirement checks officially begin. He’d had enough.
(Via NBC News)