Not long after Donald Trump fired FBI chief James Comey in May, 2017, he summoned the bureau’s acting director Andrew McCabe to the Oval Office for “a get-to-know-you meeting.’
Ellen Nakashima, Josh Dawsey and Devlin Barrett at Wash. Post report on what happened next at the White House:
The two men exchanged pleasantries, but before long, Trump, according to several current and former U.S. officials, asked Andrew McCabe a pointed question: Whom did he vote for in the 2016 election?
McCabe said he didn’t vote, according to the officials, who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about a sensitive matter.
Trump, the officials said, also vented his anger at McCabe over the several hundred thousand dollars in donations his wife, a Democrat, received for her failed 2015 Virginia state Senate bid from a political action committee controlled by a close friend of Hillary Clinton.
McCabe, 49, who had been FBI deputy director for a little more than a year when James B. Comey was fired, is at the center of much of the political jockeying surrounding the investigation into potential coordination between Trump associates and the Kremlin. He has for months been the subject of Trump’s ire, prompting angry tweets suggesting that the Russia probe is politically motivated by Democrats sore about losing the election.
McCabe, who has spent more than two decades at the bureau, found the conversation with Trump “disturbing,” said one former U.S. official. Inside the FBI, officials familiar with the exchange expressed frustration that a civil servant — even a very senior agent in the No. 2 position — would be asked how he voted and criticized for his wife’s political leanings by the president.
One person who spoke to the Post reporters pointed out that the conversation between Trump and McCabe “is of interest to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.”
Photo: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe pauses while testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in Washington, U.S., June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque]