FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe gave an impassioned defense of James Comey on Thursday, testifying that his former boss had “broad support” at the bureau.
The statement, made during testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, undercuts the White House’s claim that Comey was unpopular with FBI agents before he was fired by President Trump on Tuesday.
“And most importantly, the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Wednesday.
But McCabe, who served as Comey’s deputy for the past year, undercut that claim.
“I can tell you also that Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI, and still does to this day,” McCabe said.
“I can confidently tell you that the majority, the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey.”
“I can tell you that I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity,” said McCabe, adding that working with Comey was the “greatest privilege” of his career.
Acting FBI Director McCabe says former FBI Director Comey “enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day.” pic.twitter.com/aAggK8S1hl
— ABC News (@ABC) May 11, 2017