Donald Trump first expressed his dissatisfaction with acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe last week in an interview with the New York Times. Yesterday, the president went considerably further, publishing a tweet suggesting McCabe is corrupt.
“Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!”
“Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!”
I can appreciate how easy it is to grow inured to the bizarre circumstances we find ourselves in, but when a sitting president accuses the acting director of the FBI of corruption, without credible proof, that’s pretty extraordinary.
It’s also baseless. Two years ago, McCabe’s wife ran for office in Virginia, and like several other competitive candidates, she received campaign support from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). Jill McCabe’s candidacy nevertheless came up short.
Months later, Andrew McCabe helped oversee the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server protocols, which found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
In Trump’s mind, Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton are the same person, and there was some mysterious conspiracy that doesn’t make any sense. (McAuliffe wasn’t in a position to know in 2015 what case McCabe might work on in 2016).
But in the larger context, the president whining about the acting FBI director isn’t about McCabe; it’s about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump apparently believes he can force out of office through rude tweets. Indeed, this morning’s missives were ostensibly about McCabe – a popular target in conservative media of late – but note that the president started by asking rhetorically why Sessions didn’t replace McCabe.
I assume tweets like these will continue indefinitely until Sessions quits?