Tensions were high between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former FBI director Andrew McCabe back in 2017, around the time Robert Mueller was tapped to investigate Russia’s possible involvement in the 2016 election, the Washington Post reported.
Both men wanted the other to back away from investigation, people familiar with the situation said. They duked it out in an intimate meeting with Mueller.
That came days after a meeting where Rosenstein reportedly suggested secretly recording President Trump. McCabe, who was present and wrote a memo, also noted that Rosenstein wanted to rally Cabinet members to remove the president from office.
Rosenstein denied the allegations, and his supporters claim the recording comment wasn’t meant to be taken seriously, according to the Post.
Days later, Rosenstein and Mueller invited McCabe to discuss the acting director leaving the investigation. However, McCabe thought it was Rosenstein who should remove himself.
They each came in ready with arguments: Rosenstein claimed McCabe showed political bias for once wearing a T-shirt supporting his wife’s campaign for a state Senate seat in Virginia while McCabe said that because Rosenstein penned the memo that eventually led to James Comey’s termination as FBI director, he wasn’t fit to be part of the new investigation.
Neither man conceded the point, and according to the Washington Post, their relationship continued to sour.
McCabe was fired in March, one day before he was set to retire. He was later accused of misleading FBI investigators.