Former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe told CBS News that, following the dismissal of FBI director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein considered seeking advice from Comey on the appointment of a special council to oversee the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election – an inquiry that President Trump had publicly declared was a reason for firing Comey.
In part of the interview that was not included in last night's report on "60 Minutes" McCabe told Scott Pelley to have advised Rosenstein on the appointment of a special council. At that time, the FBI had already opened investigations into Russia's efforts to disrupt the elections, as well as communications between Russian government officials and Trump campaigners.
Pelley asked McCabe: "Rosenstein took a little time to decide to appoint a special counsel in this case, what were some of the things he was thinking about, and who was he looking for?"
"Rod was thinking about a lot of things during those days, a lot was happening," McCabe said. "Rod and I had many, many interactions over the course of five or six days, and in each of them, I supported, supported, raised the issue and leaned a little harder.
"Initially, Rod was not convinced that we needed to [a special counsel]then was not convinced at first that we needed it right away. I think that one of his concerns that he had mentioned to me was that he feared what would happen to him if he appointed a special counsel, which could mean that he would lose his job and that he would no longer be possible to replace it with another one. Official of the Department of Justice, confirmed by the Senate, responsible for overseeing all these efforts. He was also concerned about the ongoing efforts to find and appoint a new candidate for the position of Director of the FBI, and it was a process in which he was eager to remain involved. "
"Who was he looking for?"
"I can not tell anyone to whom Rod was looking for advice because I did not know it, but he told me that he would do it, he told me how much he thought Jim Comey, and he said he'd like to talk to Jim Comey about it, "McCabe replied.
"After Comey was fired?"
Rosenstein had been the one who write the memo who fired Comey. And now he wants to reach out and ask for advice? "
"He did, he did, he raised the problem twice with me, and finally I told him that I was not comfortable with him." connect to Jim Comey, that I did not think Jim should weigh in those things, "McCabe said.
Why not? "Because at that time, Jim was no longer a member of the government and it would have been inappropriate to let him weigh of those decisions, I felt," he said. he declared.
McCabe said that he did not know if Rosenstein and Comey had already spoken. Rosenstein denied speaking to Comey about the special council investigation.
Former FBI director Robert Mueller was special advocate named in May 2017, and since his appointment, his team of prosecutors has been convicted or convicted by seven people involved in the Trump campaign and transition (including Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos) and has filed a lawsuit against 30 people and companies, including many figures of Russian intelligence.
McCabe, who was fired shortly before his retirement due to a BIG report alleging that he had been lying under oath, spoke to "60 Minutes" before publishing his book on Tuesday, "The threat: how the FBI protects America in the era of terror and Trump."
Fran Townsend, national security analyst at CBS News, who was President George W. Bush's advisor on national security and counter-terrorism, said Monday that it was amazing to learn that Rosenstein planned to contact Comey, knowing that the president had asked Rosenstein to write a memo. justifying his shot.
"Comey was a career civil servant in the Department of Justice long before he was a director of the FBI," Townsend said. "And as Rosenstein, it's true, I think their long history and their common history at the Department of Justice explain why he might have wanted to do it."
She also defended the FBI after opening two investigations into the president following the dismissal of Comey. "Having done that when I was in the justice department, the FBI brought in a case, and they must have a legal predicate." And McCabe was very cautious last night – the word used "predicate" and exposed the facts, no? He relied on the president to ask the closing of the investigation on Michael Flynn, [and] his meeting with the Russians [in the Oval Office]. He passed through, and one may wonder if it was enough or not, but he certainly spelled out the predicate to rightly open those deals. "
She also stated that she did not believe McCabe's assertion that Rosenstein was considering wearing a wire in the Oval Office in order to gather evidence. "Based on my own interactions with Rod Rosenstein, I can not believe it," she said. "Listen, in this Washington environment, everything is a little different."
Was the FBI in chaos after the shooting of Comey? "I think it's a fair term," Townsend replied. "I should say, to be clear, I had been there in the last few days, okay." Rosenstein invited me to the Justice Department to be interviewed for the post of FBI director. And he seemed himself, he was calm, he was calm, a real lawyer, and so I do not imagine the fiery hair of Rosenstein. "
To view the full interview of Fran Townsend, click on the video player below.
Townsend says some parts of the interview with McCabe should be viewed with skepticism