Since FBI Director James Comey was abruptly fired on Tuesday afternoon, White House officials have repeatedly said that, under his direction, the American people and FBI employees alike had lost faith in the organization.
The acting Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, contradicted that statement during his testimony on Thursday morning. According to McCabe, prior to and since his firing, Comey actually enjoyed “broad support” from FBI employees.
McCabe told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee:
‘I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity.’
‘Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day.’
‘I can confidently tell you that the vast majority of employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey.’
McCabe went on to say that the White House’s reports about a loss of faith in Comey are “not accurate.”
The remarks from McCabe were made less than 24 hours after Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Comey had committed “atrocities” that caused “countless” members of the FBI to question his ability to do his job.
During the hearing, McCabe also answered questions about the impact Comey’s firing will have on the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
When asked by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) if Comey’s dismissal had “in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped, or negatively impacted” the investigation, McCabe responded:
‘As you know, senator, the work of the men and women of the FBI continues despite any changes in circumstance, any decisions, so there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.’
He went on to say that nothing would stop the FBI from “doing the right thing.”
‘Simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.’
The acting director also told Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) that he would “absolutely” let the committee know if the White House took any steps to try and interfere with the investigation.
McCabe’s full hearing can be seen in the video below, available via YouTube:
Featured Image via Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.