Andrew McCabe scrambles to deny 'coup plotting'
After a slew of headlines from former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe finally admitting that he and his Justice Department cronies were plotting a de facto coup against a democratically elected president in what CBS News billed as a "bombshell interview," McCabe now says his remarks were "taken out of context and misrepresented."
As if he wouldn't know about the Washington leak games up close. But this is a big bid to backtrack.
According to The Hill:
A spokeswoman for former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said Friday that comments he made regarding a potential use of the 25th Amendment to oust President Trump have been "taken out of context and misrepresented."
"At no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions," spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said in a statement. "Mr. McCabe has merely confirmed a discussion that was initially reported elsewhere."
Actually, it sounds high-schoolish. He's not exactly denying a coup plot, which was firmly established after his 60 Minutes interview to be aired Sunday. He's actually just trying to extricate himself from responsibility for it — saying he's now repeating stories he heard from others, and the whole thing was former Justice Department official Rod Rosenstein's idea.
Not me. Rosenstein did it.
Obviously, this is a big blunder — the admission of a full-blown coup plot against a democratically elected president, which is something the Boston Herald says stands in stark contrast to the huge police show to arrest Trump ally Roger Stone and ought to be good for some jail time.
It should be — the Boston Herald's harsh editorial discusses the implications of those revelations:
According to CBS' Scott Pelley, the reporter who interviewed McCabe, after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, McCabe jumped into action with other members of the Justice Department. McCabe was alarmed that Trump "might have won the White House with the aid of the government of Russia." The next day, he brought the investigators together for a meeting.
"There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment," Pelley said.
"I was speaking to the man who had just run for the presidency and just won the election for the presidency," McCabe told CBS. "And who might have done so with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage, and that was something that troubled me greatly."
The arrogance is astounding.
According to Pelley, McCabe noted that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offered to wear a wire in order to record conversations with President Trump and the idea was discussed on several occasions. It was "so serious that he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it," Pelley explained on "CBS This Morning."
McCabe managed to get a special counsel appointed, who to date has dogged President Trump with his own Inspector Javert and resulted in several of his aides thrown in jail for process crimes, as well as drawn amazing abuses of power, such as the surveillance of hapless Carter Page. McCabe's self-satisfiedly called that appointment the culmination of his life work, his own mission accomplished. "If I got nothing else done as acting director, I had done the one thing I needed to do," he wrote.
Overthrowing an elected president? A president who has been hell on Russia with sanctions, and in the confrontations over Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela? A president who refused to meet with President Putin at a big summit?
I had no problem with the FBI being suspicious of Trump's Russia ties at the beginning — Trump, after all, had done business with the Russians, and based on his ownership of the Miss Universe Organization seemed to have a weakness for the Russian and Slavic beauties. But fact after fact has since come out about Russians not being able to get anywhere with Trump. The famous Trump Tower meeting with Don Trump, Jr. was a Democratic Party setup, and nothing good for Russia came of it. The Russian press grumbled about not being able to reach anyone in the Trump camp during the campaign, and they probably still do.
But even as these facts came out, McCabe refused to drop his thesis. Did the FBI not have informants' reports delivering the truth? One wonders. Or was McCabe just emotionally addicted to phony, Russian-generated opposition research via the Steele dossier instead? It's astonishing how wedded he was to pinning some kind of Russia charges on Trump. At what point would McCabe ever drop his thesis that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton? He argues he was on solid ground. Now that the special counsel is preparing to close up shop with nothing, he clings to his insistence that he was on "solid ground."
Yet as the shell of that government abuse is about all that's left of the FBI and special counsel probes, now he's trying to extricate himself and say other guys did it.
This is the reaction of a baby. Sorry, big boy, it's time to face the music.
Image credit: YouTube screen grab from CBS News trailer.