Trump adviser say president has confidence in Federal Bureau of Investigation director

In recent Congressional testimony, McCabe stated that fired FBI Director James Comey told him about conversations with the president shortly after they occurred.

Trump's tweets also rehashed an alleged controversy surrounding 2016 campaign donations made by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an ally of Hillary and Bill Clinton, to McCabe's wife, who was running for (and eventually lost) a seat in Virginia's Senate. He quickly climbed the administrative ladder and ended up holding senior positions at the counterterrorism division and the national security branch before being appointed deputy director on January 29, 2016.

On Saturday, Trump celebrated McCabe's prospective retirement, hinting in tweets that the news confirmed his suspicions that the Federal Bureau of Investigation official was biased against him.

Yet he became entangled in presidential politics with the October 2016 revelation that his wife's state Senate campaign had received contributions from McAuliffe's political action committee.

After Comey's dismissal, McCabe served as acting FBI Director until the approval of the new director, Christopher Wray. The lawyer, who was close to Mr. McCabe, had already left Mr. Mueller's team by the time the texts were discovered.

Even though Jill McCabe lost the race and never ran again, the Justice Department followed up on those claims after Trump's election, announcing an investigation on January 12 into "allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters".

But this isn't the first time McCabe has weathered attacks from Trump and some say he's only looking to retire because he becomes eligible for his full pension in March. Many Republicans found the donations suspicious and used it to draw ties between the Clintons and McCabe, who oversaw the FBI's Clinton email probe.

Trump's personal attacks against McCabe have continued even though McCabe could ostensibly be in a position to corroborate concerns about the president's conduct that Comey has said he raised internally with senior leadership. It is standard for FBI officials to leave the bureau for new opportunities upon becoming retirement-eligible, and it was widely expected that McCabe - independent of the criticism from Trump - would retire to give the new FBI director a chance to select his own No. 2.

"Normally, someone being investigated for obstruction of justice who intimidates and threatens three key witnesses against him (here Comey, McCabe and Baker) risks additional witness tampering charges", Eisen wrote.

  • Rogelio Becker