Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe acknowledged Tuesday night that the FBI’s decision to open a counterintelligence investigation against President Trump is based on information that is already publicly known rather than previously undisclosed information tying the Republican to Russia.
“Are there other things that haven’t been made public at this point that contributed to the opening of the investigation of the president?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked McCabe in an interview.
“I’m not so sure that there are things that haven’t been made public,” replied McCabe, who was fired from the FBI on March 16, 2018.
McCabe’s comments help settle speculation about whether the FBI had secret information linking Trump to Russia. The New York Times first reported on Jan. 11 that the FBI had opened the investigation alongside a separate obstruction of justice inquiry against Trump.
McCabe’s comment on CNN suggests that the FBI did not have any smoking gun piece of evidence showing that Trump was working as an agent of the Russian government. (RELATED: McCabe Says He ‘Absolutely’ Will Support Mueller Report Even If No Collusion Is Found)
McCabe approved both investigations days after Trump fired James Comey as FBI director and days before Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel.
McCabe has said that Trump’s public comments criticizing the FBI’s Russia probe and Trump’s alleged request that Comey drop an investigation into Michael Flynn were catalysts for the counterintelligence investigation.
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