U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Friday, rejecting an appeal that would have granted the veteran Justice Department official pension rights.
The alleged issue that prompted the firing purports to be addressed in an unreleased report alleging that McCabe failed to be transparent about a conversation he allowed between FBI officials and a journalist. His firing was praised by President Donald Trump on Twitter.
“Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!” the president tweeted.
McCabe told the New York Times that the firing is an “insult” to his 21-year career.
“It’s incredibly unfair to my reputation,” he said. “. . . The real damage is being done to the FBI, law enforcement and the special counsel.”
McCabe became the acting FBI director after James Comey was fired by Trump. He also oversaw investigations into both the Trump campaign and Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. McCabe told the New York Times that the allegation the he was dishonest is “just wrong.”
“The idea that I was dishonest is just wrong,” he said, adding, “This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness.”
The New York Times reports that McCabe is a potential witness to whether or not Trump obstructed justice. Trump's animosity toward McCabe has stretched back as far as May, when Trump reportedly asked him whether he voted Republican or Democrat in the recent presidential election.
According to the New York Times, McCabe said via a statement by his lawyers that his firing was part of the “ongoing war” on the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Sessions released a statement following the firing saying, “The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity and accountability.” Adding, "I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”
Former CIA Director John Brennan responded to Trump’s tweet, calling him a “disgraced demagogue” in response to the firing of McCabe.
“When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America . . . America will triumph over you,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Trump continued to tweet on Saturday claims that McCabe was a fraud and got “caught."