Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Monday said being accused of treason by President Donald Trump is “quite honestly terrifying” after the release of a watchdog report into the FBI’s Russia investigation knocked down conspiracy theories peddled by the President.
“To spend your life dedicated to protecting America and upholding the Constitution and then to be accused by the President of treason and suggest – and have him further put the suggestion out that the proper penalty for us would be death – I can’t describe to you how revolting that is and quite honestly terrifying,” McCabe, a CNN contributor, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “Prime Time.”
“It is just the exact opposite of who we are as government servants, it dishonors the commitments and the work that we did to try investigate what we now know is a completely valid investigation,” he added. “And it’s just a disgusting level of disrespect for the people who serve this country everyday.”
McCabe’s defense of himself and his former FBI colleagues Monday night comes after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that the FBI properly opened its investigation into Russian election interference, but added there were major errors in how the agency conducted the probe.
While rebutting Trump’s claims that the FBI illegally spied on his campaign, Horowitz’s 435-page report criticized the FBI leaders and employees for how they handled four applications for surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act targeting Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
McCabe told CNN’s Erin Burnett earlier Monday night that “I expected this result.”
“I was there. I know that we didn’t do anything wrong,” McCabe said. “Rather than do something wrong, rather than, you know, plot the coup that the President and the Republicans have been talking about for two years, what we did was our jobs.”
McCabe was fired in March 2018 following repeated taunts from Trump and accusations that he had misled internal investigators at the Justice Department. He called his firing “part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI” in a blistering statement at the time.
“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,” he said then.