You can expect Donald Trump to spend at least part of Valentine’s Day deriding former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.
On Thursday morning, 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley gave America a preview of what to expect from McCabe’s first TV interview since being fired and as it turns out, McCabe launched the bureau’s obstruction and counterintelligence investigations of Trump just after speaking to the president following the removal of James Comey.
Relive the McCabe drama in our full archive
“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion,” McCabe says in the interview, which will air in its entirety on February 17. “That were I removed quickly, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace,” he adds. Here’s the clip:
Needless to say, Trump is going to hate that with every ounce of his (orange) being.
On Thursday, Pelley showed up on CBS This Morning to talk about the “bombshell” interview (as it’s being billed) and he appeared to suggest that the “rumors” about Rod Rosenstein’s secret meetings angling for Trump’s removal were not in fact “rumors.”
“There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment,” Pelley said, before noting that during “the eight days from Comey’s firing to the point that Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel, the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what to do with the president.”
That’s right, America. After James Comey’s dismissal, “the highest levels” of America’s law enforcement apparatus where so concerned about the distinct possibility that the President of the United States was a literal Russian intelligence asset that they were desperately convening to “try and figure out what to” with him.
As Pelley also notes in that clip, McCabe is the first person involved in those emergency meetings to go on the record about them. Presumably, he won’t be the last.
Meanwhile, an adaptation from McCabe’s forthcoming book, The Threat, was published in The Atlantic this morning and while you really should read it in full here, the opening bit is particularly surreal. We’ll excerpt it here without further comment.
On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, my first full day on the job as acting director of the FBI, I sat down with senior staff involved in the Russia case—the investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. As the meeting began, my secretary relayed a message that the White House was calling. The president himself was on the line. I had spoken with him the night before, in the Oval Office, when he told me he had fired James Comey.
A call like this was highly unusual. Presidents do not, typically, call FBI directors. There should be no direct contact between the president and the director, except for national-security purposes. The reason is simple. Investigations and prosecutions need to be pursued without a hint of suspicion that someone who wields power has put a thumb on the scale.
The Russia team was in my office. I took the call on an unclassified line. That was another strange thing—the president was calling on a phone that was not secure. The voice on the other end said, It’s Don Trump calling. I said, Hello, Mr. President, how are you? Apart from my surprise that he was calling at all, I was surprised that he referred to himself as “Don.”
The president said, I’m good. You know—boy, it’s incredible, it’s such a great thing, people are really happy about the fact that the director’s gone, and it’s just remarkable what people are saying. Have you seen that? Are you seeing that, too?
He went on: I received hundreds of messages from FBI people—how happy they are that I fired him. There are people saying things on the media, have you seen that? What’s it like there in the building?
This is what it was like: You could go to any floor and you would see small groups gathering in hallways, some people even crying.