Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who was fired after nonpartisan investigators found he displayed a lack of candor in four interviews about his authorization of media leaks, said Friday that he was “unfairly branded a liar” and removed from the bureau at the direction of President Donald Trump.
McCabe offered his remarks in the third of four CNN interviews he conducted Friday, after the Justice Department revealed that prosecutors will close an investigation into whether the former FBI deputy made false statements to investigators about authorizing a leak to the media in October 2016.
“To be removed from that organization and unfairly branded a liar because that was the desired outcome by the president has just been one of the most sickening and demeaning experiences of my life,” McCabe said.
“And it is unfortunate that having listened to propaganda like Fox News, there’s — you know, there are many people in this country that will believe that forever,” he continued.
Anderson Cooper, who interviewed McCabe, offered no pushback on the CNN analyst’s comments.
The FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, and not Trump, recommended McCabe’s firing from the bureau after investigators with that office and the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general (IG) found that he displayed a “lack of candor” in four separate interviews about his role in a leak to The Wall Street Journal.
An inspector general’s report said that McCabe lacked candor when he denied to FBI Director James Comey on Oct. 31, 2016, that he knew anything about the leak to The Journal.
He also lacked candor under oath during a May 9, 2017, interview with investigators from the FBI’s Inspections Division. He lacked candor again in interviews on July 28, 2017, and Nov. 29, 2017, the IG report stated.
McCabe had authorized his general counsel, Lisa Page, to speak to Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett for a story about the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
Page confirmed to Barrett that the FBI was investigating the Clinton Foundation. She also shared details of an Aug. 12, 2016, phone conversation that McCabe had with Justice Department official Matt Axelrod. The description of Axelrod’s comments put McCabe in a positive light, and Axelrod in a negative light.
According to the IG, McCabe’s position at the FBI allowed him to make disclosures to the media but only if it advanced the goals of the FBI.
The IG said McCabe authorized the leak “in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership.”
The IG also said McCabe “admonished” two FBI agents in the New York field office for the leaks in the Wall Street Journal story, even though he authorized the leaks himself.
The FBI fired McCabe on March 16, 2018.
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