Washington (CNN)Jill McCabe broke her silence Monday night on President Donald Trump's attacks against her and her husband because she wanted a "chance to tell her story," according to a source close to her.
Jill McCabe wanted a 'chance to tell her story'
The wife of fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe called out the President for his public attacks, centered on her 2015 run for the state Senate in Virginia, in a Washington Post op-ed.
For months, people at work would walk by the emergency room pediatrician's office and ask why she hadn't spoken up, but "from the very beginning, she didn't want to do anything to hurt Andrew," the source said.
"She sought a moment to clear her name," added the source, noting that she felt it was important to "defend herself."
"For the past year and a half of this nightmare, I have not been free to speak out about what happened. Now that Andrew has been fired, I am," Jill McCabe wrote in Monday's op-ed.
In an introductory Oval Office meeting with Andrew McCabe last May, Trump reportedly cited donations to Jill McCabe's campaign from a political action committee of Democratic then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe as an example of Democrat Hillary Clinton attempting to sway the FBI's investigation into her email server, despite the fact that those donations came before Andrew McCabe took over as deputy director of the FBI and before he would have had any oversight into the Clinton email investigation.
Trump slammed McCabe during the exchange for, as he said, getting "more than $500,000 from, essentially, Hillary Clinton."
Jill McCabe called the claims "just false and utterly absurd."
"A reporter called my cellphone on a Sunday in October 2016, asking questions about contributions to my campaign and whether there had been any influence on Andrew's decisions at the FBI," she said in the op-ed. "This could not be further from the truth. In fact, it makes no sense. Andrew's involvement in the Clinton investigation came not only after the contributions were made to my campaign but also after the race was over."
Andrew McCabe was fired just days before he would have been eligible to receive his pension. After his firing, he said the move was part of a larger scheme to discredit the FBI.
"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally," McCabe said in a statement. "It is part of this Administration's ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel's work."
He was fired last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said he was taking the action after the inspector general and the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility concluded McCabe had made "an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions," which is a career-ending offense.
McCabe has yet to receive an update or explanation of where his pension benefits stand, a source close to him told CNN.