RNC chair: Question that disturbed FBI official was just Trump's casual conversation

Story highlights

  • McCabe reportedly told an official the encounter was "disturbing"
  • Trump's conversation with McCabe happened shortly after Comey was fired

Washington (CNN)The head of the Republican National Committee dismissed on Wednesday the significance of a Washington Post report that President Donald Trump asked the then-acting FBI director who he voted for in the 2016 election.

"I think it's just a conversation," Ronna McDaniel told CNN's "New Day." "I don't think it intends, you know, all of these terrible things that people are trying to put forward."
On Tuesday night, The Washington Post reported that Trump asked then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe who he voted for in the 2016 election in an introductory Oval Office meeting in May, not long after former FBI Director James Comey had been fired. McCabe reportedly responded by telling the President that he didn't vote.
    Trump also expressed frustration because McCabe's wife had received "several hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations" when she ran for a Virginia state Senate seat in 2015 from a group with ties to Hillary Clinton, the officials said, according to the Post's report.
    McCabe thought the exchange was "disturbing," the Post reported one official as saying.
    McDaniel, however, seemed to think the question wasn't concerning.
    "I ask people who they vote for sometimes," she said. "I think it is just trying to get to know somebody."
    McCabe has come under public criticism by Trump and his allies in recent weeks over the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and his connections to anti-Trump messages sent between two FBI employees during the campaign.
    CNN previously reported that McCabe, who is eligible to retire in March, told other senior FBI officials months ago that he planned to retire in the near future. Under FBI rules governing accumulated leave, he may be able to exit earlier.
    Trump has publicly called on McCabe to step down and tweeted repeated attacks on the FBI official.