On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” former FBI Director James Comey said that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe did have the authority to speak to the media, but that the IG report is correct in its assessment that McCabe didn’t ask Comey before talking to the press.
Comey said that there was “an organized campaign to attack Andy McCabe, and urge his firing, tear down his reputation, attack his wife, just shameful attacks from the president directly.”
After the discussion turned to the IG report on McCabe and McCabe speaking to the media, Comey stated, “Andy had the authority to speak to the media and to authorize communications with the media.”
Anchor Rachel Maddow then asked, “Do you think he improperly spoke to the media in that capacity then?”
Comey answered, “I don’t know for sure. I know that he didn’t tell me about it, didn’t ask me about it before he did it. I think the inspector general’s report is right in that respect. And I would have expected that. But I think he had the authority to do that, and I think if he were here he might say, ‘Well, I didn’t need to talk to the boss because I had the authority to do that.’ And that’s a hard one. Because, given all that was going on at that point and time, I would have expected him to talk to me. But, I think, as a matter of rule, he had the authority.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett