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Former FBI deputy director details 25th Amendment discussion

According to the former FBI deputy director, there was, in fact, a conversation about whether officials should invoke the 25th Amendment with Donald Trump.
Image: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, while testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee...

It's been nearly a year since former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired, but he's now firing back at his Trump administration adversaries with a book called, "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump."

McCabe spoke to CBS News' Scott Pelley, who reflected on the interview this morning.

"The most illuminating and surprising thing in the interview to me were these eight days in May when all of these things were happening behind the scenes that the American people really didn't know about," Pelley said on the show."There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment," Pelley said. "These were the eight days from [former FBI Director James] Comey's firing to the point that Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel. And the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what do with the president."

Asked if the conversation about the 25th Amendment was in jest, Pelley, apparently relying on McCabe's version of events, said it was not.

If the subject matter rings a bell, it's because we learned last fall about alleged conversations, led in part by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, about whether administration officials should invoke the 25th Amendment to remove an unfit president from office.

The alleged discussions unfolded around the time Trump leaked classified intelligence to Russians in an Oval Office meeting, which was also around the time Comey alleged that the president spoke with him about going easy on former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was the target of a federal investigation at the time.

There were competing accounts as to whether the conversation discussing the 25th Amendment took place, and as best as I can tell, McCabe's comments to CBS, if accurate, would be the first confirmation by a participating official that the discussions actually occurred.

In the same interview, the former FBI deputy director said Rod Rosenstein did, in fact, offer to wear a wire during presidential meetings. Though we've heard similar accounts before, McCabe reportedly told CBS that Rosenstein wasn't kidding and the subject came up "more than once."

Finally, it was just last month when the New York Times  reported that after Trump fired Comey in 2017, the FBI was so concerned about the president's behavior that federal law enforcement officials "began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests."

The same report added that counterintelligence investigators "had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security."

McCabe seemed to confirm to CBS that this did occur. The former FBI deputy director told Pelley how concerned he was about Trump having been elected "with the aid of the government of Russia." McCabe added, "I met with the team investigating the Russia cases, and I asked the team to go back and conduct an assessment to determine where are we with these efforts and what steps do we need to take going forward."

For his part, the president whined about McCabe on Twitter this morning.