Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe says Trump has been ‘basically at war’ with the Iaw enforcement agency since 2016 – PaintBallBeam

Andrew McCabe

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.Michael Kovac/Getty Images

  • Former FBI deputy director McCabe said Trump has been “basically at war” with the agency since 2016.

  • McCabe said the sustained attacks have had “a corrosive effect” on morale within the agency.

  • He also said political leaders haven’t been forceful enough in refuting attacks against the FBI.

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe on Friday said that former President Donald Trump has been “basically at war” with the law enforcement agency since 2016 and warned of the risks posed to agents after the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence was searched by federal officials last week.

During an appearance on CNN’s “New Day,” McCabe — who first joined the FBI in 1996 and rose through the ranks to become deputy director in 2016 under then-director James Comey — remarked that Trump’s sustained broadsides against the department took a toll on the “trust” that is necessary to work successfully in such an environment.

“There’s no question that the work environment for FBI people has been getting tougher and tougher. Tougher over the last five or six years, right?” he said.

He continued: “Trump has been basically at war with the FBI since we opened a case on his campaign in July of 2016. That has a corrosive effect on the ability of FBI agents and professional support staff to develop the sort of trust that they need to get their job done.”

McCabe then spoke of the real dangers of political extremism, pointing to a high-profile incident last week where an armed man tried to force his way into an FBI field office in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was subsequently killed.

The suspect, Ricky Shiffer, had been a frequent contributor to Trump’s Truth Social platform and had made a series of posts that appeared to reference his feelings about the Mar-a-Lago search, according to The Washington Post.

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that FBI agents retrieved 11 sets of classified documents from the presidential residence, including some documents labeled as “top secret.”

“It’s just such an incredibly potent example of the state of the threat in this country right now and how easily that threat of political violence can be accessed by Donald Trump and directed by him,” McCabe said. “Assuming the investigation bears out that this individual’s motive was, in fact, to attack the FBI, he made statements immediately following the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday.”

He continued: “So, you know, this is what counterterrorism experts and observers and folks like myself have been talking about for months. Donald Trump has an amazing amount of influence over people who harbor these sorts of beliefs when he baselessly floats out an allegation, as he did on Monday, about the FBI possibly planting evidence in his residence, which we all know there’s been absolutely zero proof produced for that.”

Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.

Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.Kimberly Leonard/Insider

McCabe proceeded to reiterate that Trump — who lost his 2020 reelection bid to now-President Joe Biden and is expected to launch a 2024 campaign in the coming months — continues to wield an enormous amount of influence in the political area.

And McCabe said that such influence also extends to those who may harbor more radical views of the government.

“He knows that can have incredibly inspiring effect on people who harbor these extreme beliefs and compel them to move to take violent action,” he said of Trump. “It is incredibly dangerous.”

McCabe then stressed that FBI agents continue to perform critical work across the country every day and opined that political leaders haven’t been forceful in repudiating attacks against the agency.

“My question for our political leadership of both sides is where are you?” he said. “It’s bad enough that their own rhetoric is pushing some of these extremists in that direction. They should be out actively trying to tamp this down.”

“They should be making statements about responsibility, about true patriotism, no matter how they feel about whatever investigation they’re fired up about,” he added.

Last week’s release of the FBI search warrant and property list for the Mar-a-Lago search revealed that agents were looking for documents connected to potential violations of the Espionage Act, which bars the unauthorized removal of defense-related information that could aid a foreign government.

Trump is also being investigated for potential obstruction of justice violations.

Last August, McCabe said Trump was “threatening members of law enforcement” over his call for “justice” against the Capitol Police officer who killed rioter Ashli Babbitt on January 6, 2021.

In March 2018, McCabe was fired from the FBI by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions hours before he was slated to retire, after an inspector’s general report said he had not been forthcoming about a leak to a newspaper regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server — an issue that Trump repeatedly used against the former first lady in his successful 2016 presidential campaign.

McCabe filed a lawsuit over the firing, arguing that he his employment was ended for political reasons.

Last year, the Department of Justice reversed his termination and he won back his full pension, along with other benefits.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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