Trump fires back at McCabe's secret memo, says Comey firing not about Russia

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President Trump fired back Thursday at reports that ousted FBI official Andrew McCabe wrote a secret memo suggesting the president had linked James Comey's firing to the Russia investigation.

The memo was first revealed by The New York Times on Wednesday. A source confirmed to Fox News that the memo described a meeting where Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein claimed Trump had asked him to reference Russia in his recommendation to fire Comey.

Rosenstein declined, and instead focused on Comey's handling of the Clinton email probe. Trump pushed back on Thursday.

“Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia! The Corrupt Mainstream media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!” Trump tweeted.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told Fox News that Trump just wanted Rosenstein to mention that Comey told him he was not under investigation in the Russia case.

But McCabe's memo reportedly has been turned over to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose team is looking at whether Trump tried to obstruct justice.

Fox News is told that Mueller's team also has a copy of a draft letter written by Trump on Comey's firing -- Rosenstein originally gave that draft to McCabe.

The president ultimately fired Comey on May 9, 2017, linked to a recommendation by Rosenstein criticizing the director’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.


Rosenstein, over a week later, appointed Mueller to investigate Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election.

Rosenstein was left leading the Russia probe for the Justice Department following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal -- a decision causing immense friction between the attorney general and the president to this day.

The president said this week that he wished he appointed a different attorney general.

Sessions, though, did fire McCabe in March, stating that he “made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor—including under oath—on multiple occasions.”

That decision came as Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz determined McCabe authorized the leak to the media, but later told investigators he did not know who was responsible.

McCabe reportedly kept personal notes on his interactions with Trump, some of which included what Comey told him about his encounters with the president, Fox News reported.

The president, though, has denied McCabe ever took notes when meeting with him.

“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?” Trump tweeted in March, following McCabe’s firing.

Also on Thursday, the president blasted the mainstream media for their reporting on the FBI informant who had communicated with members of the Trump campaign during the election. The informant communicated with Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Sam Clovis.

“The corrupt Mainstream Media is working overtime not to mention the infiltration of people, Spies (Informants), into my campaign! Surveillance much?” Trump tweeted.

The president has dubbed the revelations of the FBI informant as “SPYGATE” and called it “one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history.” Democratic lawmakers and former Obama intelligence officials have rejected that description.

Fox News’ John Roberts at the White House and Lukas Mikelionis contributed to this report.