Acting FBI Head Refutes WH Claim That Comey Lost Support Within The Bureau

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe listens as Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testifies at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017. It is an annual hearing about the major threats facing the U.S., but former FBI Director Jim Comey's sudden firing is certain to be a focus of questions. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

When President Donald Trump took the shocking step of firing FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, he said Comey had “lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington.”

In the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Thursday hearing, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe refuted this assertion.

“That is not accurate,” the two-decade FBI veteran said in response to a question from Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) about whether rank-and-file agents no longer supported Comey.

“Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day,” he elaborated. “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.”

McCabe, who worked closely with Comey for several years, also expressed personal admiration for his predecessor.

“I can tell you that I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard,” he said. “I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity, and it has been the greatest privilege and honor of my professional life to work with him.” 




Alice Ollstein is a reporter at Talking Points Memo, covering national politics. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in DC ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Alice grew up in Santa Monica, California and began working for local newspapers in her early teens.