Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe thinks President Donald Trump is running his administration the same way he ran his business: like the mob.
In an interview with The Atlantic‘s Natasha Bertrand, McCabe offered new insight on Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian electoral interference during the 2016 election and potential obstruction of justice during the nascent days of the president’s administration.
In discussing Mueller’s approach to the investigation, Bertrand noted McCabe’s own experience tackling the Russian mob in New York and that several legal experts have consistently made the mob-like comparison in the past.
“Do you think, given what we’ve seen from Mueller so far, that Trump is still a target?” she asked.
To which McCabe replied:
There are a lot of patterns in what Director Mueller is doing that are very familiar to me. Those patterns of targeting and investigating people who may have had more of a hands-on role, albeit at a lower level, and using those investigations to develop information and informants and cooperators—I mean, it is really the classic enterprise investigation that Director Mueller and his team have pursued. So do I think the case into Trump is open or closed? There’s absolutely no reason for me to believe that it’s closed. And you can certainly look at what Mueller’s done so far to say he is doing exactly what we would do with the investigation of a cartel or an organized-crime family.
Bertrand then put an even finer point on it.
“So Trump strikes you as someone who runs his organization, and now is running his administration, like the Mob,” she said.
McCabe responded in the affirmative.
“Well, that was my own experience with him, right?” he asked out loud. “That kind of overwhelming or overriding focus on loyalty and sorting everybody out immediately—like, you’re either with us or you’re against us. Those are all traits that you see in organized-crime enterprises.”
McCabe also directly addressed Mueller’s eventual report and likely behavior after it’s all said and done:
He’ll explain his findings in the report, and then if he’s called upon to testify about it, he’ll certainly do that. But he is always the guy who will say less than more. He’ll seek less attention than more attention. He is perfectly happy to do his job and to do it fully and completely. And then, when it’s all said and done, he’ll lock the door behind him and go home.
At another point in the interview, McCabe said FBI counterintelligence agents had long harbored suspicions–and had also been collecting evidence which suggested–that Trump was somehow compromised by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Those concerns, McCabe claimed, had been building “for some time.”
“We felt like we had credible, articulable facts to indicate that a threat to national security may exist,” the former FBI deputy director told Bertrand.
Eventually, of course, McCabe was fired. The official reason–reached by career officers in the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General–being that he lied about leaking to the press. McCabe thinks this was all simply pretext.
During his interview with Bertrand and during a Tuesday book tour segment with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, McCabe insisted he was fired for opening an investigation into President Trump.
“I believe very strongly I was fired because of the steps we’ve just discussed,” McCabe told Guthrie. “I was fired because I opened a case against the president of the United States.”
[Image via Pete Marovich/Getty Images]