Trump fires back at fired FBI official McCabe over memos
U.S. president claims political bias in Russia probe
U.S. President Donald Trump is reviving concerns that special counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is investigating Russian election interference, may be biased against him.
Trump tweeted on Sunday: "Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added...does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!"
Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added...does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!—@realDonaldTrump
The tweet marks one of the first times that Trump has mentioned Mueller by name.
Trump allies previously have questioned whether Mueller can lead an unbiased probe because some of his investigators have made campaign contributions to Democratic candidates, including Trump's former Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton. Mueller is a former FBI director appointed by Republican President George W. Bush.
Other Trump backers have noted that Mueller interviewed with Trump to serve another term as FBI director. Trump instead nominated Christopher Wray to lead the bureau.
2nd FBI official kept meeting memos
Trump has also been raising doubts about whether former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe kept personal memos outlining McCabe's interactions with the president.
McCabe was fired on Friday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Associated Press is reporting that McCabe's memos, describing interactions with the president, have been provided to Mueller.
- Former FBI deputy Andrew McCabe fired by attorney general
- McCabe, fired FBI official, reportedly kept memos on Trump that are now with Mueller
Trump also tweeted on Sunday about his interactions with McCabe.
"Spent very little time with Andrew McCabe, but he never took notes when he was with me. I don't believe he made memos except to help his own agenda, probably at a later date. Same with lying James Comey. Can we call them Fake Memos?"
Spent very little time with Andrew McCabe, but he never took notes when he was with me. I don’t believe he made memos except to help his own agenda, probably at a later date. Same with lying James Comey. Can we call them Fake Memos?—@realDonaldTrump
Comey — the FBI director who was fired last year by Trump — also kept memos of his dealings with Trump.
The AP reports that the McCabe memos are similar to the notes compiled by Comey. Those memos also recount different conversations he had with Comey, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation who wasn't authorized to discuss the memos publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
McCabe, in a statement defending himself after his firing, asserted he was singled out by the administration because of the "role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath" of Comey's firing last May.
In a tweet, McCabe's lawyer Michael Bromwich wrote, "We will not be responding to each childish, defamatory, disgusting and false tweet by the president. The whole truth will come out in due course. But the tweets confirm that he has corrupted the entire process that led to Mr. McCabe's termination and has rendered it illegitimate."
We will not be responding to each childish, defamatory, disgusting &<br>false tweet by the President. The whole truth will come out in due<br>course. But the tweets confirm that he has corrupted the entire<br>process that led to Mr. McCabe’s termination and has rendered it<br>illegitimate.—@mrbromwich
Republican senators want review of decision
Two Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee say they want to review whether Sessions' firing of McCabe was justified.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said the committee should hold a public hearing so Sessions can "come forward with whatever documentation he has about the firing and give Mr. McCabe a chance to defend himself."
Sen. Jeff Flake said he's "very surprised" that McCabe was fired before an inspector general's report was released. That report is expected to conclude McCabe was not forthcoming about matters related to the FBI investigation of Clinton's emails.
Addressing the Russia probe, Graham said if Trump attempted to fire Mueller, it would be "the beginning of the end of his presidency."
The senators spoke on CNN's State of the Union.