MSNBC’s Ari Melber Grills Andrew McCabe: The Rosenstein Memo is ‘Not the Whole Story’ … is It?
The latest stop in fired deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe‘s whirlwind of interviews surrounding the release of his political tell-all The Threat was with Ari Melber on MSNBC on Thursday. In the lengthy interview, Melber pressed McCabe on several points, especially about soon-to-be-ex-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
In the ten-plus minute interview for The Beat, Melber pressed McCabe “lawyer to lawyer” several times. In the clip above Melber pushed hard on the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, challenGing McCabe on Rosenstein’s honesty, as well as his own.
“You have the Trump administration seize on this and say that basically, because you guys were too mean to Hillary Clinton, that’s why James Comey was fired,” said Melber. “Rod Rosenstein knew that wasn’t the whole story, yet he wrote a memo saying that was the only reason. Was that wrong?”
After a long pause, McCabe replied, “that’s a great question.”
“I think Rod had — this is my opinion — I think Rod had substantive disagreements with our decisions regarding that announcement in July,” he continued. “How Rod felt about whether or not that was the full scope of the issues as to why director James Comey was being fired by this president, I can’t say that.”
“Well but we can say some of it,” Melber objected. “This now infamous letter from Rod Rosenstein cites one reason for removing James Comey, which was the handling of the Clinton case. That’s not true is it? That’s not the whole story.”
“Well, you know, Ari it depends on… I don’t know what you mean by ‘the whole story’,” said McCabe.
As he began to stutter an answer, Melber said, “well you can go or I’ll tell you what I mean.”
“Go for it,” said McCabe.
“What I mean is, your documentation and other evidence that we have suggests, at the time, Rod Rosenstein knew Donald Trump wanted to remove James Comey because of Russia and other reasons, and he wrote a public memo stating only one reason: a pretest that it was only about the Clinton case,” Melber explained.
“Rod Rosenstein knew the president had a whole scope of reasons upon which — reasons for firing Jim Comey,” said McCabe. “The president presented those reasons to Rod Rosenstein in the infamous draft letter that was never sent. Rod’s memo only cites one reason for the firing of Jim Comey. I think that Rod believes in the truth of his memorandum and I take him at his word. If you’re asking me did the president have other reasons in mind, I think we have good reason to believe that’s the case.”
As Melber pressed for more details, and whether the memo mentioned Russia, McCabe said he wasn’t going to talk about any of the details. Melber said, “well let me play for you someone who talked about the details” and then introduced a clip of McCabe himself from Sunday. Basically challenging McCabe with his own words.
Melber continued aggressively pushing, both on Rosenstein and the memo (the clip above), and throughout the full interview (below in two parts.) Towards the end of the second clip, Melber asked whether McCabe was “witnessing efforts to impede the Russia probe by Donald Trump.” When McCabe said they were concerned, Melber pushed him again, on whether it was “concern” or “conclusion” that Trump was impeding the probe, including showing McCabe again clips of himself from previous interviews.
That portion of the interview, like the clip above, was also fascinating .
Ari Melber really worked on getting the most out of this long interview, and it’s worth watching the full length clips, above, courtesy of MSNBC.
[Featured image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]