Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe stepped down Monday after being a continual target for President Trump and some Republicans in Congress in the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The White House denied any involvement in McCabe's resignation. “None of this decision was made by that of the White House,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at the Monday press briefing. “The president was not part of this decision-making process.”
McCabe, who worked under both former FBI directors Robert Mueller and James Comey, is leaving his position effective immediately, and will retire with full benefits in March, according to NBC.
He was expected to retire later this year, but his early departure prompts questions over whether he was pushed out or whether he had had enough.
One source told CNN that the decision was “mutual,” but President Trump has repeatedly attacked McCabe throughout his tenure.
In December, Trump tweeted, “How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?”
That same day, Trump also tweeted, “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!”
Sanders on Monday said Trump “stands by his previous comments,” with regards to the tweets.
McCabe drew accusations of political bias from the White House and others because of donations that his wife received for her Virginia state Senate race. That money came from a the political action committee of then-Democratic governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe, a close friend of Hillary Clinton.
Cover: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee meeting on the FBI's budget requests for FY2018 on June 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C. McCabe became acting director in May, following President Trump's dismissal of James Comey. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)