Trump rips a leading FBI official amid reports of retirement plans
President Trump took aim at FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe through tweets on Saturday, referencing McCabe’s rumored retirement from the agency. He also noted the removal of FBI General Counsel James Baker from his position. The two agency officials have recently been the target of Republican critics.
In several afternoon tweets, Trump drew attention to recent news stories about McCabe’s rumored agency exit.
“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits,” Trump tweeted. “90 days to go?!!!”
His tweet appeared to be in reference to a Saturday story published by The Washington Post saying McCabe plans to retire in several months after becoming eligible for benefits.
Fox News confirmed that McCabe will be eligible for retirement in March, but it is not yet clear if that’s his plan.
Republicans have long questioned McCabe’s ties to the Democratic Party, considering his wife ran as a Democrat for a Virginia Senate seat in 2015.
“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?” Trump asked.
Trump also commented on the news that FBI General Counsesl James Baker, the bureau’s top lawyer, is being reassigned to another role at the FBI.
“Wow, “FBI lawyer James Baker reassigned,” according to @FoxNews,” Trump tweeted.
Fox News confirmed Saturday that Baker, who has served as the FBI’s general counsel, was removed from his position at the agency but was not fired and will remain an FBI employee. There’s no word yet on who will replace him.
The general counsel plays a large role at the FBI, and is read in on every investigation the bureau takes on.
Sources familiar with Baker’s movement told Fox News that his re-assignment has more to do with other leak investigations than it has to do with inquiry into Russian influence in the 2016 elections.
The Washington Post first broke word of the story earlier this week, saying Baker had been removed from his post and would be reassigned at the bureau.
The newspaper reported that Baker “had been caught up in a strange interagency dispute that led to a leak probe and attracted the attention of senior lawmakers,” but that the issue “had not played a part in Baker’s reassignment.”
On Friday evening, the website Politico published a story saying House Republicans were interested in Baker’s contacts with a liberal reporter from Mother Jones in the weeks ahead of the 2016 election.
Former FBI Director James Comey defended the bureau’s recently reassigned top lawyer and suggested the move was political.
“Sadly, we are now at a point in our political life when anyone can be attacked for partisan gain,” Comey tweeted Friday night.
Comey, who was fired by Trump earlier this year, tweeted: “James Baker, who is stepping down as FBI General Counsel, served our country incredibly well for 25 years & deserves better. He is what we should all want our public servants to be.”
Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.