Andrew McCabe, the disgraced former acting FBI director, reveals in his new book that Robert Mueller temporarily left his cell phone behind after a meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office and that the phone “later had to be retrieved.”
McCabe did not explain why he included the detail in his book.
McCabe says that Mueller left the phone behind after Trump had interviewed Mueller as a potential candidate to replace James Comey as FBI director. The interview reportedly took place in the Oval Office just one day before Mueller had been appointed special counsel in the so-called Russia collusion case.
In June 2017, CNN first cited a White House official as saying that Trump had interviewed Mueller to potentially replace Comey one day before Mueller was named special counsel. CNN reported it was “unlikely” that Mueller informed Trump of his soon-to-be-announced special counsel gig. According to multiple reports, the White House was only given short notice that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was going to name Mueller as special counsel.
In his anti-Trump book, titled, “The Threat: How the F.B.I. Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” McCabe, citing Rosenstein, relates the story of Mueller leaving his phone behind after the interview with Trump.
In this same meeting Rod talked about interviews with candidates for director. Then he flipped back to talking about possible candidates for the special counsel job. It was hard to track whether he was talking about candidates for one job or for the other. One minute, he said Mueller had been asked to interview for the position of FBI director; Mueller had gone in for an interview with Trump, and left his phone there, and then the phone had to be retrieved.
McCabe did not offer any further details on the matter of Mueller’s phone.
Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, a Trump confidante, previously stated that Mueller and Trump “had a private conversation” during their meeting. “He had a private conversation with the President on his views about all sorts of matters potentially about the investigation,” Ruddy said. “And the next day he’s now maybe using some of that information in his investigation.”
McCabe went on to write that Rosenstein also said that John Kelley, former White House chief of staff and former Secretary of Homeland Security, also interviewed with Trump to possibly replace Comey:
Then he said John Kelly was another candidate for FBI director. I said I didn’t understand what qualified Kelly as a prospect. Kelly had no law-enforcement or legal background of any kind. And why would he leave his cabinet-level position as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to become director of the FBI? Rod said, No, he wouldn’t leave DHS. He would just run both. I said, You’ve got to be kidding. Those are two massive jobs. Each one is a huge challenge for any human being. For one person to do both would be impossible.
McCabe, meanwhile, faces controversy himself over his own actions relating to Trump’s presidency.
In April, the Justice Department inspector-general (IG) referred McCabe to Washington’s top federal prosecutor after the IG’s report found that McCabe had lied to investigators or Comey four times, including on three occasions where McCabe was under oath.
McCabe also has faced controversy over a much-debated text message from Strzok, who helped lead the bureau’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server. According to the four-page Republican House Intelligence Committee memo authored by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the Strzok message reportedly referred to “a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an ‘insurance’ policy against President Trump’s election.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.