McCabe was referring to two cases he opened in the days after James Comey was sacked as FBI director in May 2017: an investigation into whether Trump was coordinating with Russian operatives, and an investigation into whether Trump was trying to obstruct the FBI's larger probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. "And that was something that troubled me greatly", said McCabe.
McCabe made the revelation during an interview with 60 Minutes that is scheduled to air in the U.S. on Monday (NZT).
McCabe was sacked by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions past year, just one day before he was set to retire. He pointed to the personal attacks Trump has launched against him on Twitter and said of the OIG, "I don't believe they were independent or fair".
"I believe I was sacked because I opened a case against the president of the United States", he said.
The US deputy attorney general discussed how many cabinet members would support removing US President Donald Trump from office in 2017, the FBI's former acting director said in an interview airing Sunday. The Justice Department has previously issued a statement from another official in the room who said he interpreted Rosenstein's remark as sarcastic.
Yet McCabe - who was sacked after being charged with misleading investigators and reportedly himself remains under criminal investigation - tells "60 Minutes" that the highest levels in law enforcement were actively plotting on their own how best to force the president from office.
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"I met with the team investigating the Russian Federation cases", McCabe said.
"The Deputy Attorney General again rejects Mr. McCabe's recitation of events as inaccurate and factually incorrect", the Justice Department said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, vowed on Sunday to investigate whether the top officials at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. plotted an "attempted bureaucratic coup" to remove President Trump from office.
President Trump on Monday accused Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe of pursuing an "illegal and treasonous" plot against him, after McCabe detailed private DOJ discussions about secretly recording and potentially ousting the president. But McCabe revived the issue during promotional interviews for his forthcoming book, telling CBS News' "60 Minutes" that Rosenstein was "absolutely serious" when he suggested recording Trump in the tumultuous days following James Comey's firing as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.
Asked Tuesday whether he has ever "leaked" to the media, McCabe insisted he has not, but he did not say whether he's ever shared investigative information with the media.
Rosenstein has disputed previous reports describing allegations by McCabe that he had discussed the topic.