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The Acting FBI Director Just Contradicted the White House

At a Senate hearing, Andrew McCabe refuted the Trump administration's claims about the Russia probe and former FBI Director James Comey.

by VICE Staff
May 11 2017, 1:55pm

Left: James Comey; Right: Andrew McCabe (Photos via Wikimedia Commons)

Andrew McCabe, the acting FBI director after James Comey's abrupt firing, refuted several claims the White House made about Comey and Russian interference in US politics while testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning.

McCabe called the Russia investigation "highly significant," while White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement to the opposite effect Wednesday. Additionally, McCabe said Comey "enjoyed broad support" within the FBI, contradicting the claim—part of the rationale behind the director's firing—that the former director had lost the confidence of rank-and-file members of the agency.

The new acting director added that he won't update the White House on the Russia investigation, a reassurance that comes at a time when many are worried that the investigation will become compromised due to White House interference

McCabe took Comey's place in the hearing that was part of the committee's ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election—an investigation that also encompasses any connection between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, as well as leaks to the media—and was joined by national intelligence director Dan Coates and CIA director Mike Pompeo. Comey has been asked to testify before the committee separately, and could appear next week.

McCabe took the reins from Comey when he was dismissed Tuesday, prompting bipartisan calls for a special investigator to start a fresh investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. He'll remain FBI director until the president appoints a replacement. He's expected to do so as early as this week.