By Kathryn Blackhurst | February 19, 2019
Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe defended disgraced former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page as “good people who served this country well” — and hit back at President Donald Trump during an interview on Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show.
McCabe (pictured above left) oversaw the investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions booted McCabe in March 2018 — just two days before he would have retired with a pension.
Sessions dismissed McCabe after the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) recommended the move. The OPR determined that McCabe had “lacked candor” with investigators and while under oath.
Strzok and Page, who were having an affair, came under fire after some of their text messages became public. The two individuals disparaged Trump — and sympathized with Clinton. Both of them participated in the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Strzok also worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into allegations of collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia. But Mueller removed Strzok from his team after the anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages came to his attention.
During his interview with Savannah Guthrie of NBC News, McCabe defended Strzok and Page from conservatives’ criticism and tried to vouch for their conduct during the highly politicized investigations.
When Guthrie asked him if he’d ever seen any “clear bias against the president” from Strzok and Page, McCabe insisted, “Not once, not from Lisa Page, not from Pete Strzok, and not from anybody else on that team.”
Strzok and Page are “good people who served this country well,” McCabe insisted. He admitted, however, that the two “made some poor decisions in their private lives and in terms of the communications they exchanged with each other, that’s brought incredible grief and scrutiny on the FBI.”
“I’m sure they regret that, but good people make bad decisions every day,” McCabe said.
When asked about one of the specific text messages referencing “a meeting in Andy’s office,” McCabe replied, “I don’t recall the meeting or the conversation that they relate in their private text.”
“It’s one — a question I’ve been asked many times. We had many meetings between myself and those two and many others on the investigative” team, McCabe said. “I don’t recall [that] conversation.”
McCabe is touting his new book, “The Threat.”
Trump harshly criticized him on Twitter last week after McCabe spoke with CBS News’ “60 Minutes.”
The president slammed the “disgraced” McCabe and called him “a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax — a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey.”
“McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
….Many of the top FBI brass were fired, forced to leave, or left. McCabe’s wife received BIG DOLLARS from Clinton people for her campaign – he gave Hillary a pass. McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2019
The president also bashed McCabe on Twitter on Monday night, writing, “Remember this, Andrew McCabe didn’t go to the bathroom without the approval of Leakin’ James Comey!”
Remember this, Andrew McCabe didn’t go to the bathroom without the approval of Leakin’ James Comey!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2019
McCabe responded to Trump’s criticism on Tuesday.
He also announced that he was “about to file” a civil lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ). McCabe is blaming his last-minute sacking on Trump’s repeated and public criticism of him.
“I believe very strongly I was fired because of the steps we’ve just discussed,” McCabe argued. “I was fired because I opened a case against the president of the United States.”
McCabe said he has “big problems” with the Inspector General (IG) report, which found that he “lacked candor.”
Guthrie pressed McCabe on the IG report.
She asked, “Why should anyone believe you when you were fired from the FBI for lying?”
McCabe replied, “Before the president started publicly attacking me, I enjoyed a 21-year career in the FBI at every level an agent can serve within the FBI, and with absolutely not a single blemish on that career.”
“So I have big problems with that report. I disagree with the conclusions they drew, and that is something that I’ll be raising in a civil lawsuit that I’ll be bringing against the Department of Justice,” McCabe declared. “I would love to walk through every one of the points that I have for each one of those things they’ve said in that report, but I can’t do that with you this morning because of the lawsuit we’re about to file.”
Check out more in the video below:
This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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