During a May 2016 meeting in the Oval Office shortly after James Comey was fired as FBI director, President Donald Trump asked the new acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe, who he voted for in the 2016 election, according to new reports in the Washington Post and New York Times.
The Washington Post was first to report on the meeting Tuesday night, and the New York Times followed up with a confirmation.
McCabe and Trump met more than once in the week after Comey was fired, according to the New York Times. In one of those meetings, Trump asked who McCabe voted for, to which McCabe replied that he did not vote, current and former officials told the Washington Post.
Trump then brought up the fact that McCabe’s wife received a campaign contribution from a super PAC associated with former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2015 for her Virginia state senate race, according to the Post.
The topics Trump discussed in that meeting with McCabe were atypically political, given that the FBI is not supposed to be a political agency and that the bureau’s director is supposed to act independently from the president.
Trump similarly tried to gain a pledge of loyalty from Comey before he was fired. Comey testified to congress that the President asked him to reveal to the public that he was not under FBI investigation several times and told Comey that he wanted “loyalty” from the FBI director.
McCabe has been the focus of Trump’s ire for a while, stemming from the Democratic campaign of McCabe’s wife. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reportedly began pressuring new FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire McCabe in December, as Axios first reported this week. Wray threatened to resign if Sessions continued to push for McCable’s departure, per Axios. Trump on Tuesday denied to reporters that Wray has threatened to leave.
Sessions’ pressure on Wray came as Trump publicly criticized McCabe and questioned why McCabe was still employed by the FBI.
How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017
Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017