"I don't think so. No. I don't think I did," Trump told reporters
He later said it was a "very unimportant question"
President Donald Trump slammed deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and said that he didn’t remember asking who the longtime law enforcement official voted for in 2016.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Trump asked McCabe who he voted for in the 2016 election in an introductory Oval Office meeting in May.
“I don’t think so. No. I don’t think I did,” Trump told reporters gathering in chief of staff John Kelly’s White House office on Wednesday.
“I don’t know what’s the big deal with that. Because I would ask you, ‘who did you vote for?’ ” Trump said. “I don’t think it is a big deal. But I don’t remember that. I don’t remember asking him the question.”
He later said it was a “very unimportant question.”
McCabe did not vote in the 2016 presidential general election, but did vote in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, according to two Virginia campaign consultants – one Republican, one Democratic – with access to the Virginia campaign participation rolls.
Trump also slammed McCabe during the exchange for, as he said, getting “more than $500,000 from, essentially, Hillary Clinton.”
“He was the star of my speeches,” Trump said, referring to McCabe.” I would say a man who is more or less in charge of her, the wife got $500,000 from Terry. Now Terry is Hillary.”
Terry refers to former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, but McCabe himself never received any money for his wife’s campaign for state Senate. The President is referencing donations to Dr. Jill McCabe’s campaign, first reported by The Wall Street Journal last year.
McAuliffe’s political action committee made six contributions totaling $467,500 to Jill McCabe’s campaign, the Journal reported. In addition, campaign records show that the state Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe has great influence, made two other payments totaling $207,788 in September and October 2015. These donations all occurred before McCabe took over as deputy director of the FBI and before he would have had any oversight into the Clinton email investigation.
McCabe became Trump’s acting director of the FBI in May when Trump fired James Comey. Asked if he regrets having McCabe as his acting director, Trump demurred.
“I keep out of it. You’d find that hard to believe. I keep out of it. That’s the way it fell. He’s been there. It’s one of those things,” Trump said.
CNN’s Evan Perez and Ryan Nobles contributed to this report.