WASHINGTON -- An internal watchdog report concluded that Andrew McCabe, the fired FBI deputy director, repeatedly made misleading statements, including some to former FBI Director James B. Comey, about his efforts to influence a news story involving Hillary Clinton.
The report says McCabe either told Comey or led him to believe that he didn't know who talked to a reporter for The Wall Street Journal who was preparing an article on friction between the FBI and Justice Department over an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
That was one of four times that McCabe "lacked candor" in talking about the story, the report said. And the inspector general concluded that McCabe, who has said he was only trying to defend the reputation of the FBI, was really trying to "advance his own interests at the expense of department leadership."
The report, part of an inspector general examination of the FBI's handling of the Clinton investigations during the 2016 campaign, was sent to Congress on Friday -- in the middle of a rush of media coverage of Comey's book detailing his actions during the investigation and conflicts with President Donald Trump.
The report's findings were cited by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month when he made the decision to fire McCabe, just before his planned retirement. The late-night firing came after a long campaign of angry public pressure from Trump, part of his continuing attacks on the FBI and Justice Department.
Trump's rage about McCabe and Comey continued unabated Friday, as he used the report to once again try to discredit the investigation into his campaign's dealings with Russians.
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"He LIED! LIED! LIED!" Trump tweeted about McCabe after the report's release.
Apparently ignoring the finding that McCabe misled Comey, Trump said "McCabe was totally controlled by Comey -- McCabe is Comey!"
"No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes," the president said.
A lawyer for McCabe, Michael R. Bromwich, blamed his client's misleading statements on "misunderstanding, miscommunication, and honest failures of recollection based on the swirl of events around him, statements which he subsequently corrected."