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GOP lawmakers blast Andrew McCabe for comments in "60 Minutes" interview

McCabe: Officials discussed removing Trump

Republicans balked at former FBI acting director Andrew McCabe's revelation in an upcoming "60 Minutes" interview that Justice Department officials had conversations about the process for removing a sitting president shortly after President Trump fired James Comey in 2017. 

McCabe, who briefly led the agency after Comey's dismissal and was fired last year, told "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley department officials discussed the 25th Amendment, which provides a mechanism for the Cabinet to remove a sitting president. McCabe also said he worked to make it more difficult for investigations related to the president to quash them without raising red flags. He also said then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was serious when he suggested wearing a wire during conversations with the president. 

McCabe was heavily criticized by the Justice Department inspector general in a report last year and fired by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March 2018.

A portion of the interview, which airs in full on Sunday, appeared on "CBS This Morning" on Thursday. Mr. Trump and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders reacted by calling McCabe a liar and a disgrace.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham responded to McCabe's interview by calling for additional investigations into the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants used to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Graham said he "definitely" wants to talk to McCabe. 

"Oh, we're definitely going to speak to Andrew McCabe and the whole crowd about what happened during the 2016 election," Graham said. "Mr. Mueller is doing a very deep dive into the Trump campaign and anything they may have done wrong. My Democratic friends don't seem very interested in the abuses that I've seen."

Graham said the DOJ inspector general "did a pretty good report, but nobody's looked at the FISA warrant abuse and I certainly will be doing that."

Republican Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah used much more colorful language. He called discussion of the 25th Amendment "essentially treason."

"My first reaction is, what a crock," Stewart said of McCabe. "For heaven sakes, the Russia investigation was never on solid ground. He knew at the time there was nothing there."

"This is what we know about Andrew McCabe," Stewart added. "I'm going to use a word I rarely use, but it is true. He is a liar, he has not told the truth and why he was fired from the FBI I can tell you he came before our committee and said things that make absolutely no sense."

Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Democrat, said he wants to wait and watch the full "60 Minutes" interview Sunday before making any judgments. 

"I'm just reading those press reports for the first time," Warner said. "I understand Mr. McCabe is going to appear on '60 Minutes' on Sunday. I'm going to watch and make some judgments after that."

The full "60 Minutes" interview airs Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, at 7 p.m.

Emily Tillett contributed reporting.