On May 9, 2017, Mr. Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, and several weeks prior to that in March, Comey had testified in front of the House Committee on Intelligence confirming the FBI was investigating Russian interference in the U.S. election and “any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
Trump’s actions set off obstruction of justice and counterintelligence investigations involving the president and his ties to Russia, led by then-acting FBI director Andrew McCabe.
On Sunday night, McCabe went on “60 Minutes” for his first television interview since his own firing. According to CBS News:
‘In his first television interview since his own firing, McCabe tells 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley he wanted those inquiries to be documented and underway so they would be difficult to quash without raising scrutiny.’
McCabe told Pelley in his interview:
‘I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion. That were I removed quickly, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.’
The White House first responded to the opening of the investigation referring to it as a “completely baseless investigation.” McCabe said of the meeting with Mr. Trump:
“I was speaking to the man who had just run for the presidency and just won the election for the presidency.
‘And who might have done so with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage. And that was something that troubled me greatly.’
McCabe also told Scott Pelley about a “bizarre” meeting he had with Trump when he was summoned to the Oval Office to interview for the position of FBI director. McCabe said:
‘He began by talking to me about his Electoral College results in the state of North Carolina, which I didn’t really know about or understand how that related to the position of FBI director.’
McCabe also said that Trump bragged about “the support he enjoyed within the FBI.” McCabe said:
‘He estimated that 80% of FBI employees must have voted for him, and he asked me if I thought that was true. I said, “I have no idea who people in the FBI voted for. It’s not something that we discuss at work.”‘
After James Comey was fired, McCabe describes how Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein carefully weighed whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate President Trump.
“A crime may have been committed. The president may have been engaged in obstruction of justice.”
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McCabe revealed that Rosenstein actually mentioned that he would like to speak to Comey about it, as he thought highly of Comey and was curious to what information he might share.
‘He mentioned to me how highly he thought of Jim Comey. And he mentioned that he would like to speak to Jim Comey about it.’
‘After Comey was fired?’
‘Rosenstein had been the one who wrote the memo that got Comey fired. And now, he wants to reach out and ask him for advice?’
‘He did. He did. He raised the issue with me twice.’
McCabe told about his first phone call with Trump, which took place shortly after Comey’s firing. Mr.Trump demanded to know why James Comey had been allowed to fly home on an FBI airplane.
McCabe explained to Pelley:
‘It was a presidential order after 9/11 that the director of the FBI travels on a government plane because he needs to be within reach of secure communications, so the director typically travels on an FBI plane, and he [Comey] had done so that day to California, which is where he was when he found out by watching the television that he’d been fired.’
Trump was angry that Comey had been flown home on an FBI plane.
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube