Andrew McCabe: Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein was serious when he suggested wearing a wire while talking to Trump
Last year, one of the most explosive reports that emerged about President Donald Trump's early efforts to take the reins of the Justice Department was an allegation, first uncovered by The New York Times, that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested that he and his colleagues "wear a wire" while talking with the president — something that members of the Trump administration have tried to claim he only said sarcastically.
But CBS anchor Scott Pelley confirmed that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told him, in a 60 Minutes interview, that Rosenstein was not only serious, he went out of his way to discuss his concerns with FBI lawyers:
Pelley said McCabe confirms in their interview that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein considered wearing a wire in meetings with President Trump. Previously, a Justice Department statement claimed that Rosenstein made the offer sarcastically, but McCabe said it was taken seriously.
"McCabe in [the 60 Minutes] interview says no, it came up more than once and it was so serious that he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it," Pelley told "CBS This Morning."
Pelley also confirmed that McCabe detailed how the Justice Department considered removing Trump under the 25th Amendment.
McCabe, who served as acting FBI director after Trump fired James Comey, is out with a new book detailing what was going on at the FBI during the 2016 presidential election, and the aftermath of Trump's decision to fire Comey leading up to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.
These actions by Trump have been criticized as potential attempts to obstruct justice and shut down the Russia investigation before it can implicate him or his inner circle. The FBI opened a probe into whether this was the case, and McCabe says he was the one who initially made that decision. Possibly for this reason, McCabe was a frequent target of ire by Trump, and was fired by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions last March, just days before his scheduled retirement.
Rosenstein, who has overseen Mueller's continuation of the Russia investigation due to Sessions' recusal, has pledged to step down after the confirmation of Sessions' planned replacement, William Barr, whose nomination is currently being debated by the Senate.