White House: President Won’t Weigh in on Whether Sessions Should Fire McCabe

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The FBI’s Inspector General has suggested firing Andrew McCabe just days before he is set to retire. As Attorney General Jeff Sessions considers the move, the White House says the President is staying out of it.

Just this week, an FBI investigation into McCabe’s activities in the investigation of the Clinton Foundation led to the Inspector General’s recommendation that McCabe be fired. The investigation found that McCabe was not forthcoming in the course of the review. Sessions is now considering the recommendation and whether to fire McCabe before his Sunday retirement goal.

During Thursday afternoon’s White House press briefing, Sarah Sanders described McCabe as exhibiting “troubling behavior.” She told reporters that the President is leaving the decision on whether to fire McCabe, up to Sessions, “That’s a determination that we would leave up to Attorney General Sessions.”

“We do think that it is well-documented that he has had some very troubling behavior and by most accounts a bad actor and should have some cause for concern,” added Sanders.

McCabe stepped away from his position in January of this year, going on leave until a March 2018 retirement date that would leave him with full pension benefits. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at the time that the President was not involved in the decision-making process.

President Donald Trump has tweeted several times about McCabe in the past, even questioning why Sessions hasn’t yet fired the Deputy Director of the FBI.

In July 2017, Trump tweeted:

Trump also criticized McCabe for campaign contributions that his wife received from the Clintons:

But since the FBI IG recommendation to fire McCabe, Trump has taken the position that the decision is up to Sessions.

McCabe was at the Justice Department on Thursday afternoon for meetings with senior officials including lawyer Scott Schools, according to the Washington Post. The report stated that McCabe is expected to ask that the agency not fire him before his retirement goal. Sessions, who is ultimately responsible for the decision, was traveling on Thursday and thus not present for the meeting.

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