Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe first went into the Oval Office in the wake of James Comey’s firing; he said the president was outright “gleeful” about Comey being gone.
In a “60 Minutes” interview, McCabe said that Trump first went off about Comey’s firing and said that people in the FBI were “thrilled” about Comey being gone. If anyone knew the reaction from the FBI, it would be someone in the FBI, like McCabe.
“He was telling you what the reaction inside the FBI was?” CBS reporter Scott Pelley asked.
“It was very different than the reaction I had seen immediately before I came to the White House,” he said. “People were shocked. We had lost our leader, a leader who was respected and liked by the vast majority of FBI employees. People were very sad. But anyway, that night in the Oval Office, what I was hearing from the president was, not reality. It was the version of the events that I quickly realized he wished me to adopt. As he went on talking about how happy people in the FBI Were, he said to me, ‘I heard that you were part of the resistance.”
McCabe said he didn’t know what that meant and asked the president to clarify.
“And he said, ‘I heard that you were one of the people that did not support Jim Comey. You didn’t agree with him and the decisions that he’d made in the Clinton case. And, is that true?'” McCabe recalled Trump saying. “And I said, ‘No, sir. That’s not true. I worked very closely with Jim Comey. I was a part of that team and a part of those decisions.'”
McCabe revealed it wasn’t the answer Trump wanted to hear, but he wasn’t about to lie to keep his job.
“I didn’t know when I’d be out of the job,” he said. “I thought it would probably be pretty soon. 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.”
McCabe also said that Trump instructed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to specifically bring up Russia in the justification to fire the former FBI director.
“Rod was concerned by his interactions with the president, who seemed to be very focused on firing the director and saying things like, ‘Make sure you put Russia in your memo,'” McCabe recalled. “That concerned Rod in the same way that it concerned me, and the FBI investigators on the Russia case.”
Pelley explained that when the memo justifying the Comey firing was made public, the Russia piece was not included, but the connection was made anyway. Indeed, Trump confessed to the Russia piece in an interview with NBC host Lester Holt.
These were just among some of the things that prompted him to question what was happening in the American White House.