Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe said Monday on CNN’s “New Day” that he believed former President Donald Trump knowingly unleashed “very aggrieved, politically extreme people” with his criticisms of the FBI’s raid on his Florida estate last week.
McCabe was discussing the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issuing a bulletin warning law enforcement agencies of increased threats following the Mar-a-Lago search.
McCabe said, “The FBI and DHS’ response over the last few days indicates to me that maybe they are taking this sort of violent rhetoric on largely right-wing social media sites more seriously than they did in the lead up to January 6th. That has always been a massive gap for me. It’s just not — it’s hard to understand how, with the level of rhetoric preceding January 6th, that the FBI and DHS, and other law enforcement entities didn’t take that seriously. The message they put out today tells me they’re watching it closely and trying to take appropriate steps.”
Anchor Brianna Keilar said, “Should former President Trump know the effect of either his silence or his efforts to say — he’s alleging the FBI maybe planted evidence, or at least laying the groundwork for that possibility. Should he know the effect that those actions on his part can have when it comes to potential violence against the men and women in the FBI?”
McCabe said, “Brianna, my observations on this is that he is makes those statements because he knows the effect they will have, right? He had a distinctive experience on January 6th. That crowd that came and unleashed a violent attack on the Capitol did so, according to many of them who have testified, because they thought that’s what he asked them to do.”
He added, “He knows that that community of very aggrieved, politically extreme people are listening to everything he says and doesn’t say. And they react in ways they think he wants them to act. I think that’s why he’s making the statements he is now.”
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