alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

'You all only hired Irishmen': Andrew McCabe's new book torches Jeff Sessions' racism and his mental faculties

'You all only hired Irishmen': Andrew McCabe's new book torches Jeff Sessions' racism and his mental faculties
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe is apparently no fan of his former boss, Jeff Sessions.

Sessions, who served as attorney general for the end of McCabe's tenure at the FBI, is painted as an incompetent racist in McCabe's new book "The Threat," according to two new reviews of the book.

In the Wall Street Journal, reviewers Byron Tau, Sadie Gurman and Aruna Viswanatha report:

Mr. McCabe also critically described several interactions with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions—writing that Mr. Sessions appeared interested only in immigration issues. On counterterrorism cases, Mr. Sessions—a critic of illegal immigration—would ask where the suspect was born or where the suspect’s parents were from.

Mr. Sessions also complained about the FBI’s workforce to Mr. McCabe, he recalls in the book. “Back in the old days, he said, you all only hired Irishmen. They were drunks but they could be trusted. Not like all those new people with nose rings and tattoos,” Mr. McCabe wrote that the former attorney general told him.

Mr. Sessions didn’t immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment.

Writing a review for the Washington Post, Greg Miller is more detailed in his description of the Sessions-related portions of the book. Miller wrote:

McCabe’s disdain for Trump is rivaled only by his contempt for Sessions. He questions the former attorney general’s mental faculties, saying that he had “trouble focusing, particularly when topics of conversation strayed from a small number of issues.”

Logs on the electronic tablets used to deliver the President’s Daily Brief to Sessions came back with no indication he had ever punched in the passcode. The attorney general’s views on race and religion are described as reprehensible.

He also says that Sessions saw Islam as inherently extremist, according to McCabe.

These descriptions of Sessions are consistent with what is publicly known about the former attorney general. In fact, Sessions was once turned down by the Senate for a judicial nomination because of racist views — a fact that was frequently mentioned when he was nominated, successfully, to be attorney general. However, McCabe's account should be treated with some skepticism, as he has significant reason to resent Sessions. It was Sessions, after all, who fired McCabe under pressure from Trump days before he would have earned his full FBI pension. McCabe reportedly notes in the book that he can't go into more detail about Sessions because he's pushing a pending lawsuit over his firing.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.