Former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe gave a much-touted interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, during which he elaborated on the obstruction of justice probe, the aftermath of former FBI Director James Comey’s firing and the measures he has taken to ensure that evidence is protected.
1. Mueller has McCabe’s memos
McCabe told CBS’ Scott Pelley that he, much like Comey, wrote memos after his interactions with President Donald Trump, and that he’s given all of those notes to special counsel Robert Mueller. McCabe expressed confidence in Mueller various times during the interview, saying that he’s “the best special counsel we possibly could have hoped for.”
2. Trump trusted Putin over US intel agencies
Though Trump’s affinity for Russian President Vladimir Putin is well known, McCabe shed some light on the extent to which Trump trusts Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence officers. Trump allegedly went off on rant about how North Korea’s missile launch was a hoax, information he got from Putin that directly contradicts U.S. intelligence reports. “I don’t care. I believe Putin,” Trump said, per McCabe.
3. Trump’s own actions and statements prompted the obstruction of justice probe
Statements like “I believe Putin” made McCabe so concerned about the President’s motivation that he ordered intelligence officers to launch a probe into possible obstruction of justice.
“If the President committed obstruction of justice, fired the director of the of the FBI to negatively impact or to shut down our investigation of Russia’s malign activity and possibly in support of his campaign, as a counterintelligence investigator you have to ask yourself, “Why would a President of the United States do that?”‘ McCabe said. “So all those same sorts of facts cause us to wonder is there an inappropriate relationship, a connection between this President and our most fearsome enemy, the government of Russia?
4. More details on the Rosenstein wire story
McCabe relates how Rosenstein brought up the possibility of wearing a wire to eke out information from Trump about Russia obstruction and especially firing Comey. Rosenstein said he did not get searched when he entered the White House, so a recording device would go undetected. McCabe says that the “pressure” he and Rosenstein were under at the time was “incredibly stressful” and that he did take the offer to the FBI’s general counsel.
“I think the general counsel had a heart attack,” Mccabe said. “And when he got up off the floor, he said, “I, I, that’s a bridge too far. We’re not there yet.”‘
5. McCabe knew he wasn’t long for the FBI after Comey’s firing
He tells an anecdote about a time that Trump tried to get him to admit that he’d been against Comey all along, part of the “resistance” as the President called it. McCabe wouldn’t kowtow though he knew it was the “wrong answer.”
“I didn’t know when I’d be out of the job. I thought it would probably be pretty soon,” McCabe said. “And so I just put my head down and got to work trying to stabilize the people around me and do the things that I felt we needed to do with the Russia investigation, getting cases opened and getting a special counsel appointed.”