The toilet, CNN … some say it’s the same thing.
In a Friday op-ed for the Washington Post, former FBI Director Andrew McCabe said he learned of his “impersonal” dismissal from the Bureau through a friend who saw the news on CNN.
“Not in my worst nightmares did I ever dream my FBI career would end this way,” wrote McCabe, who was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week just days before he was set to close his more than 20-year career at the FBI with full retirement benefits.
The ousted FBI official described feeling “disoriented” and “sick” as he awaited word from the Justice Department.
“Despite all the preparation for the worst-case scenario, I still felt disoriented and sick to my stomach. Around 10 p.m., a friend called to tell me that CNN was reporting that I had been fired. She read me the attorney general’s statement.”
In the statement to which McCabe referred, Sessions said he made his decision based on a recommendation from the FBI’s Office of Personal Responsibility after the Justice Department’s Inspector General found McCabe lied about letting FBI officials give information regarding the Clinton email server probe to the press.
“[B]ased on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately,” Sessions said.
“The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. As the OPR proposal stated, ‘all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.'”
McCabe decried the circumstances surrounding his firing.
“So, after two decades of public service, I found out that I had been fired in the most disembodied, impersonal way — third-hand, based on a news account. Shortly after getting word, I noticed an email from a Justice Department official in my work account, telling me that I had been ‘removed from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the civil service.'”
In his op-ed, McCabe also denied that he showed “lack of candor,” for which he was fired, with respect to the FBI’s relationship with the press.
“At worst, I was not clear in my responses, and because of what was going on around me may well have been confused and distracted — and for that I take full responsibility. But that is not a lack of candor.
“And under no circumstances could it ever serve as the basis for the very public and extended humiliation of my family and me that the administration, and the president personally, have engaged in over the past year.”
He also took aim at President Trump’s reaction, which included calling the firing “a great day for democracy.”
“I was sad, but not surprised, to see that such unhinged public attacks on me would continue into my life after my service to the FBI,” the former FBI official wrote in response to the president.
McCabe’s experience learning of his dismissal mirrored that of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
According to the Daily Beast, Chief of Staff John Kelly said in an off-the-record meeting that Tillerson was in the bathroom when he received word of his firing, which the president announced on Twitter.
President Trump also announced this week that former UN Ambassador John Bolton would replace Gen. H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor in what is being described as a “shake-up” of the White House.