Washington (CNN)Hours after it was announced that Andrew McCabe would be stepping down from his post at the FBI, former FBI Director James Comey responded to the surprising early departure of the agency's deputy director on Twitter.
Comey: McCabe stood tall when 'small people' tried to 'tear down' the FBI
"Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you," Comey tweeted from his verified account on Monday night.
McCabe was a central target of President Donald Trump's ire toward the FBI over the investigation into potential collusion between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, as well as the bureau's handling of former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's email case.
Comey was in a similar position -- until Trump fired him in May. The Trump administration attributed Comey's dismissal to his handling of the investigation into Clinton's email server, but later Trump admitted that he was thinking of "this Russia thing" when he made the decision.
Trump learned about McCabe's departure Monday morning, a White House official told CNN. The President did not answer a reporter's question at the White House about the departure. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump had not been part of McCabe's choice to step down and that the White House had not been part of the decision.
A source familiar with the matter said FBI Director Christopher Wray told McCabe he is bringing in his own team, which he would not be a part of, and that it was McCabe's decision whether to stay at the FBI or leave.
This isn't the first time Comey has weighed in on news related to the agency. After Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia's ambassador, Comey posted an Instagram picture of a stream accompanied by a caption that included a Bible verse, "'But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream' Amos 5:24."
He had tweeted the same passage in November after Trump called him "a liar."