Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy director steps down amid Trump criticism

Fox News' Jake Gibson reported that McCabe was "removed" from his position while CNN's Jim Acosta reported that a source close to McCabe said that he was pushed out by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who wants to put his own team into FBI leadership.

The White House was not involved in McCabe's decision, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday afternoon.

It has been known that McCabe would retire in March, but at this time it's unclear why it was moved up.

McCabe served as the agency's acting director this summer after Trump fired former director James Comey in May.

Mr. McCabe made a decision to leave the same day that members of Congress are voting on whether or not to release the memo that summarizes classified information that supposedly proves that the highest levels of the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been weaponized against President Trump.

The President has also voiced skepticism - to put it mildly - about the ongoing investigation into Russia's attempted interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion.

Trump targeted McCabe with critical tweets after it emerged that his wife had received a campaign contribution for a race in Virginia in 2015 from an ally of Trump rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump asked in a December tweet that how McCabe could lead the Clinton probe when his wife got donations from "Clinton Puppets".

A FBI spokesperson said the bureau had no comment on the reports about McCabe.

McCabe was serving as the FBI's acting director at the time. He has called that inquiry a "hoax" and a "witch hunt".

His departure comes roughly a week after news emerged that Trump asked McCabe who he voted for during an introductory meeting in May - not long after Comey was abruptly fired.

Trump has publicly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian Federation probe, a move that paved the way for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Mueller after Comey's firing. He then told Comey to "let this go", referring to the investigation of Michael Flynn, who had resigned the previous day as Trump's national security adviser.

  • Joey Payne