President Donald Trump reportedly asked the deputy FBI
director Andrew McCabe who he voted for during an Oval Office
meeting last year.
McCabe took over the FBI after Trump fired Comey in
May. He told Trump he did not vote in the 2016
The meeting between Trump and McCabe resembled the
one-on-one time that the president had with Comey after his
inauguration. During the meeting, Comey said that Trump asked
him for his loyalty and requested that the FBI back off of his
then-national security adviser Michael Flynn, who the FBI was
Comey later said he rebuffed Trump’s request, which he
confirmed during congressional testimony he gave last
The revelation potentially adds another wrinkle to the
federal investigation of ties between Trump associates and
Russian influence in the 2016 election.
Following former FBI director James Comey’s ouster in May,
President Donald Trump reportedly met with then-acting director
Andrew McCabe and asked him who he voted for during the 2016 US
presidential election, current and former officials cited by the
Washington Post said in a report published on Tuesday.
McCabe, who reportedly said he did not vote in the election that
year, found the question to be “disturbing,” according to one
Trump and McCabe later met again in the Oval Office, where the
president interviewed McCabe for the role of FBI director, though
The Washington Post notes that Trump had no intention of
hiring McCabe for the job, due in part to his anger over McCabe’s
wife’s failed run for Senate in Virginia.
Trump has accused the campaign of McCabe’s wife, Jill, of taking
donations from Hillary Clinton. The donations is question
actually came from the Virginia Democratic Party and a super PAC
aligned with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is a Clinton
supporter. She received no donations from Clinton herself.
Hallmarks of the Trump-Comey meeting
The conversation between Trump and McCabe loosely resembled the
one-on-one time the president spent with James Comey shortly
after taking office. He summoned Comey to the White House for a
private dinner, during which
he asked Comey for his loyalty.
Comey, who at the time was leading the Russia investigation,
later said he was baffled by the request, but said he did not
oblige. He said Trump also asked him to drop the bureau’s
investigation of his then-national security adviser Michael
Comey said during congressional testimony last year that he
recorded memos of the early private meetings with Trump out of
concern for the nature of the encounters.
Railing against law and order
Though Trump ran his 2016 presidential campaign on a “law and
order” platform, he has railed against top law-enforcement
officials during his entire first year in office.
The interactions between McCabe and Trump, just like those
previous encounters with Comey, are also part of a broader effort
in which Trump has apparently sought to wrangle top
law-enforcement officials who have proximity to the Russia
During his first year in office, Trump has publicly rankled
Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the
He taunted McCabe on social media, scolded White House
general counsel Don McGahn for not intervening in the
More recently, Sessions has pressured the Trump-appointed FBI
director Christopher Wray to remove McCabe. Political observers
have speculated that Sessions was acting on Trump’s wishes to
shake up the FBI.
Wray reportedly threatened to resign over the White House’s
Some of Trump’s allies in Congress and in the media have joined
in the president’s calls for a counter investigation. Those
demands grew louder after it was revealed that an agent who was
ousted from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation had
exchanged anti-Trump text messages with an FBI lawyer.
A new wrinkle for Robert Mueller
The totality of Trump’s public and private engagement with top
officials at the FBI
and Justice Department has prompted Mueller to look into
whether Trump obstructed justice, a matter that could spell
trouble for Trump.
The president has not been formally accused of a crime and he has
insisted he committed no wrongdoing.
But his sustained public airing of grievances against the Russia
probe and his reported encounters with McCabe, Comey, Sessions,
and others, have called into question his broader motives
surrounding the investigation, which he has previously called a
“witch hunt,” and described as a “cloud” over his presidency.
According to a Washington Post
report published on Tuesday, Trump’s attorneys are
negotiating terms for a possible interview between the president
and Mueller, during which the special counsel is expected to seek
information about the events that led up to Comey’s firing and
Michael Flynn’s resignation.