Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe on Tuesday claimed he unequivocally rejected deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s suggestion about wearing a wire in the White House, saying it was “absolutely not” a good idea.
Sitting down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, McCabe that he had nothing to do with the leaks that first publicized Rosenstein’s offer to record his conversation with President Trump in the wake of the dramatic May 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey.
“At that moment, did you think that was a good idea?” Cooper asked.
“Absolutely not,” McCabe responded. “I felt that it was an incredibly invasive and a potentially precedent-setting thing to do. I didn’t think it was necessary at that point. I mean, if you think about it, the reason you would send someone in with a concealed recording device to tape the utterances and the statements of a subject is to capture evidence of intent. We didn’t need to do that in this case. We knew what the president intended. He made, through his own public statements to Lester Holt in the infamous interview -- it was a risky and very controversial position that I did not want to put the agency in.”
McCabe told the CNN anchor that he documented his interactions with Rosenstein and that he handed his memos to investigators.
And when asked if he thought Rosenstein should have recused himself from the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election after invoking the 25th Amendment, McCabe said that was a decision for Rosenstein alone.
He later added that the country owes Rosenstein a “debt of gratitude” for appointing Special Counsel Robert Mueller to look into the Russia matter.