Fired FBI deputy McCabe kept notes on interactions with Trump - source familiar

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fires former FBI deputy director

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fires former FBI deputy director

But despite the clarification, Dowd's call to end the investigation left some Democrats concerned that Mueller's ongoing Russian Federation investigation could be threatened.

James Comey on Saturday hit back at President Donald Trump, who has ramped up his online attacks on the fired FBI director following the ouster of deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Comey's No. 2, Andrew McCabe, was sacked late Friday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

McCabe stepped down from his Federal Bureau of Investigation job in January amid attacks from President Trump, but he had been using up accumulated leave to get to his birthday to receive full retirement benefits - a move Trump attacked him for on Twitter after The Washington Post reported his plans.

Dowd told NBC News he chose to speak out on the issue "in a personal capacity", stressing that his remarks were not reflective of President Trump's beliefs.

"Just end it on the merits in light of recent revelations, " Dowd said in an emailed statement on Saturday, referring to the investigation led by Special Counsel Bob Mueller.

But McCabe pushed back hard, saying his firing is yet another attempt by the administration to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the US election process, and allegations that Mr. Trump's campaign colluded with those efforts.

Dowd's comments came in the wake of Attorney General Jeff Sessions firing McCabe last night, just hours before he was set to retire with full benefits.

"The OIG's focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn". "It is part of this administration's ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel's work".

He said "Sanctimonious James Comey", as Mr McCabe's boss, made Mr McCabe "look like a choirboy".

On Twitter, Phillip's colleague Evan Pérez joked at how Dowd's comments were viewed as distracting from the White House bragging about firing Andrew McCabe.

The firing arises from an inspector general review into how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation. The story ultimately presented McCabe as a somewhat complicated figure - one who some FBI officials thought was standing in the way of the Clinton Foundation investigation, but who also seemed to be pushing back against Justice Department officials who did not believe there was a case to be made. The recently fired deputy director contends, however, that any missteps or inconsistencies in his directives were a direct result of the chaos around him and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that he would go back and contact investigators if he thought his answers were misunderstood. In each, he asked about Mr. McCabe's wife, Jill, who ran a failed campaign as a Democrat for the Virginia State Senate.

If Trump doesn't want the firing of McCabe to appear political, he's not doing a very good job.

Mr. Trump kept up his Twitter barrage on Saturday, pointing to hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to Ms. McCabe's campaign from a political committee run by Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor and a longtime ally of the Clintons. The FBI has said McCabe received the necessary ethics approval about his wife's candidacy and was not supervising the Clinton investigation at the time. The statement came as Comey prepares to kick off a national tour and PR campaign to promote his upcoming book, which is said to be a detailed account of his conversations and interactions with the president prior to his firing last May.

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