Ex-FBI official McCabe responds to 'lying' Trump attacks, calls them 'horrific'

Image: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe talks during a news conference at
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe talks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington. Copyright Aaron Bernstein Reuters file
By Allan Smith with NBC News Politics
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The former acting director spoke out about the president on NBC's "Today Show."


Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told NBC's "Today Show" on Tuesday that President Donald Trump's public blasting of him has been "horrific" on him and his family.

"It's been to endure the threats and taunts of the president in such a public way," he added. "It's been incredibly tough on my family."

The president has repeatedly attacked McCabe on Twitter after he interviewed with CBS's "60 Minutes." Trump called McCabe "a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax — a puppet for Leakin' James Comey."

Trump continued to tweet about McCabe all throughout the holiday weekend.

"Remember this, Andrew McCabe didn't go to the bathroom without the approval of Leakin' James Comey!" he posted Monday night.

Speaking with NBC, McCabe said, "No one really takes the president's tweets seriously." The former FBI official added that Trump has been "lying" about the former top FBI official and his family for years.

In that CBS interview, which aired in full on Sunday, McCabe said he ordered obstruction of justice and counterintelligence investigations into Trump after he fired James Comey as FBI director, and said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had discussed the possibility of removing Trump via the 25th Amendment in addition to wearing a wire during a future conversation with the president.

In a statement Thursday, the Justice Department disputed McCabe's assertions in the interview, calling his recollections "inaccurate and factually incorrect."

McCabe disputed the DOJ pushback in his Tuesday interview with NBC and also mentioned that he informed congressional leaders — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and then-House Speaker Paul Ryan — of the counterintelligence investigation shortly after he opened it.

"No one objected," McCabe said. "Not on legal grounds not on constitutional grounds and not based on the facts."

McCabe was ousted from the bureau last March following Comey's firing in May 2017. McCabe was fired just prior to a planned retirement following a Justice Department inspector general's report said he misled investigators regarding a leak about the FBI's investigation of the Clinton Foundation, which he denies. The inspector general referred its findings to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia last year for possible prosecution, and prosecutors reportedly have convened a grand juryon the matter.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the various investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, possible collusion with Russia by his campaign associates and possible obstruction of justice, claiming they are part of a broader "witch hunt."

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has pledged to investigate conversations regarding using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

McCabe's book, "The Threat," is out on Tuesday.

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