Published: Tue, January 30, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy director steps down amid Trump criticism

Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy director steps down amid Trump criticism

President Donald Trump "wasn't a part of the decision-making process" that led to Monday's exit of Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted shortly after word broke of the exit.

McCabe had been widely expected to retire upon his eligibility date, but his departure from the FBI's No. 2 slot is effective Monday, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal personnel move.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment on McCabe. The source said McCabe was told Monday morning to step down.

He took over as acting director following Trump's May 9 firing of Comey and was among the officials interviewed for the position, which ultimately went to former Justice Department official Christopher Wray.

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McCabe was a holdover from the tenure of former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired in May.

Mr Trump had also hit out at Mr McCabe on Twitter after it emerged that his wife received a campaign contribution when she ran for office in Virginia in 2015 from an ally of Mrs Clinton - the then-Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.

Upon December news reports that McCabe would retire, the president wrote: "How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin' James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife's campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?" The President did not answer a reporter's question at the White House about McCabe's departure.

Trump was asked on Monday whether he knew McCabe was stepping aside and the president did not answer.

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Trump has kept nonstop pressure on McCabe ever since he became acting director in May, using the longtime law enforcement official as a punching bag - both publicly and privately - to vent his frustrations about the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"He was the star of my speeches", Trump said, referring to McCabe.

Trump in December referred to the FBI's reputation as being in "tatters", and has also publicly criticized U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian Federation probe, a move that paved the way for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Mueller after Comey's firing.

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