Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe claimed in an interview that aired Sunday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was “absolutely serious” about wearing a wire during White House meetings with President Donald Trump.
“The deputy attorney general offered to wear a wire into the White House,” McCabe said in an interview with “60 Minutes.”
“Now, he was not joking. He was absolutely serious. And in fact, he brought it up in the next meeting we had,” added McCabe.
McCabe, who was fired on March 16, 2018, also claimed that Rosenstein expressed confidence that he could successfully record Trump at the White House.
“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,” McCabe quoted Rosenstein as saying.
McCabe’s remarks are in line with reports about what the former FBI official wrote in memos following his meetings with Rosenstein and other Justice Department officials. The New York Times first reported McCabe’s claims on Sept. 21, 2018, though McCabe’s “60 Minutes” interview is the first time he’s confirmed the matter on the record. Other FBI officials have told Congress that McCabe discussed Rosenstein’s remarks with them.
Rosenstein and the Justice Department have disputed McCabe’s claims. Unnamed Justice Department officials have told reporters that Rosenstein was joking about wearing a wire. The Justice Department called McCabe’s claims “inaccurate and factually incorrect,” in a statement to “60 Minutes.” The agency also claimed that the “deputy attorney general never authorized any recording [of the president].”
McCabe said that Rosenstein brought up the idea of wearing a wire during a discussion about whether Trump was thinking about the Russia investigation when he decided to fire former FBI Director James Comey.
Rosenstein helped Trump in that effort by writing a memo recommending Comey’s ouster over his handling of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email investigation.
McCabe claimed that he did not consider taking Rosenstein up on his offer to surveil Trump.
“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 FBI after he brought it up the first time,” he said.
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