The DoJ/FBI may have toyed with using the 25th Amendment to overthrow President Trump, but only because their top agents were super stressed.
That’s the explanation coming from Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, who was ousted after the Department of Justice’s inspector general said he lied repeatedly in a bid to coverup abusing his office.
McCabe is currently on a publicity tour for his new book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protect America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” and has been asked repeatedly about a salacious New York Times report from last September in which it was reported that after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey, the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, and senior FBI leadership discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
The story, McCabe says, is true, but it’s not as controversial as it sounds. That week, he says was “incredibly stressful,” and everyone should keep that in mind.
“I can’t describe to you accurately enough the pressure and the chaos that Rod and I were trying to operate under at that time,” McCabe told CBS’s Scott Pelley. “It was incredibly turbulent, incredibly stressful. And it was clear to me that that stress was ... Was impacting the deputy attorney general. We talked about why the president had insisted on firing the director and whether or not he was thinking about the Russia investigation, and did that impact his decision.”
McCabe explains what happened next:
And in the context of that conversation, the deputy attorney general offered to wear a wire into the White House. He said, ‘I never get searched when I go into the White House. I could easily wear a recording device. They wouldn’t know it was there.’ Now, he was not joking. He was absolutely serious. And, in fact, he brought it up in the next meeting we had. I never actually considered taking him up on the offer. I did discuss it with my general counsel and my leadership team back at the F.B.I. After he brought it up the first time.
On ‘The Today Show,’ McCabe again chalked up what some have described as an attempted “coup” to senior DoJ/FBI officials simply being stressed out.
“You have to remember this came at an incredibly stressful time, and I think the important part of that comment that Rod made and the comment about the 25th Amendment is not — there was no effort underway, nobody wore a wire into the White House,” McCabe told Savannah Gurthrie. “Nobody was plotting to, you know, stage a coup or remove the president. The point is the stress and the complexity of the issues that we were discussing at the time, the fact that the President of the United States may have committed obstruction of justice for the purpose of impeding our investigation into Russia, that was the big picture issue that we were trying to find our way through.”
In an interview on “The View,” McCabe again explained away the possible overthrow of the White House as a stressful week at work.
“We were all operating under incredible stress,” he told Sunny Hostin. “We were all grappling with this idea that we have a president who we think may have committed obstruction of justice, who we think may, in fact, be a threat to national security. What do we do in this circumstance? So you can see that in those conditions, those incredibly stressful times, Rod Rosenstein, who had been in the position only for a few weeks and was kind of figuring these things out, it seemed, as he went along, was not outrageous that he would make comments off the top of his head that were things that we, of course, didn’t follow up on.”
McCabe, who was fired for lying on at least four separate occasions to DoJ investigators, was asked why James Comey denied approving of McCabe’s leaks to the media.
Comey, McCabe said, was probably just stressed.
“I don’t know why Jim Comey doesn’t remember the conversations that we had in the same way that I do,” he told ABC’s Meghan McCain. “It is understandable he was under an enormous amount of stress at the time. He had a lot of other kind of more important things to worry about. I can’t understand why he doesn’t remember them in the same way I do.”