FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe steps down after clashes with Donald Trump

Andrew McCabe, the FBI deputy director who Donald Trump has repeatedly criticised in public, has stepped down from the role.  

Mr McCabe, who held the post since early 2016, will formally leave the FBI in mid-March when he becomes eligible for full retirement benefits. 

The US president has effectively accused him of political bias in the past because Mr McCabe’s wife ran for a Virginia state senate seat as a Democrat. 

The news comes a week after reports Mr Trump was urging his departure behind the scenes and once asked him how he voted. 

Mr McCabe, the second most senior person in the FBI, was expected to leave the agency in March but the announcement he was leaving his post now came as a surprise. 

It marks another twist in the fractured relationship between Mr Trump and the intelligence agencies, with the president sacking James Comey, the FBI director, shortly after taking office. 

Mr McCabe, briefly acting director after Mr Comey’s departure, has become the target for Mr Trump’s ire over the last year. 

His wife received several hundred thousand dollars from a political fund linked to Hillary Clinton in her unsuccessful bid for a state senate seat in 2015. 

Mr McCabe reportedly stepped back from any involvement in investigations into Virginian political figures or Ms Clinton. 

Nonetheless Mr Trump has repeatedly voiced criticism over the link. In December he tweeted:

After reports Mr McCabe was waiting to become eligible for his full pension before retiring, Mr Trump tweeted: 

It is unclear why his departure from the role came on Monday, given he was already expected to retire in March. 

It came a week after reports that Mr Trump asked Mr McCabe how he voted in 2015 – he said he did not vote – and that the FBI was coming under pressure to remove him. 

Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, denied the White House was involved in the removal, saying: “The president wasn’t part of this decision-making process."

 

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