Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe denied participating in “extended” discussions about a proposal to remove President Donald Trump’s using the 25th Amendment, his spokesperson said in a statement Friday.
“Certain statements made by Mr. McCabe, in interviews associated with the release of his book, have been taken out of context and misrepresented,” Melissa Schwartz, a spokesperson for McCabe, said. “To clarify, at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of such discussions.”
“He was present and participated in a discussion that included a comment by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein regarding the 25th Amendment,” the statement continued. “This anecdote was not included in The Threat, Mr. McCabe has merely confirmed a discussion that was initially reported elsewhere.”
In an interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley, McCabe confirmed discussions were held on “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.”
“[McCabe] is the very first person involved in these meetings who has come out and spoken publicly,” Pelley said in a Thursday appearance on CBS This Morning. “They were counting noses, they were not asking cabinet members whether they would vote for or against removing the president, but they were speculating ‘This person would be with us. That person would not be…’ and they were counting noses in that effort… This was not perceived to be a joke.”
Pelley said McCabe revealed that Rosenstein not only proposed wearing a wire in meetings with President Trump but discussed the idea with attorneys at the FBI. “[McCabe] says no, it came up more than once, and it was so serious that he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it,” the 60 Minutes correspondent said.
McCabe made the remarks to Pelley as part of his interview to promote his soon-to-be-released-book The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.
The deputy attorney general has denied he suggested wearing a wire, telling the New York Times that its report on the proposal was “inaccurate and factually incorrect.”
“I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda,” Rosenstein told the Times. “But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
A Justice Department spokesperson told the newspaper that Rosenstein brought up the proposal in a sarcastic fashion.