Andrew McCabe says its \

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Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe thinks it’s “possible” that President Trump could be a Russian asset. On Tuesday, he was asked directly by CNN’s Anderson Cooper whether he believed that to be the case.

“Do you still believe the President could be a Russian asset?” Cooper asked McCabe on “Anderson Cooper 360.”

“I think it’s possible. I think that’s why we started our investigation, and I’m really anxious to see where Director Mueller concludes that,” McCabe responded, referring to special counsel Robert Mueller.

In an interview that aired earlier this week on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” Scott Pelley posed a similar question to McCabe:

Scott Pelley: Are you saying that the president is in league with the Russians?

Andrew McCabe: I’m saying that the FBI had reason to investigate that. Right, to investigate the existence of an investigation doesn’t mean someone is guilty. I would say, Scott, if we failed to open an investigation under those circumstances, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs.

McCabe told Pelley that the question of whether there existed an “inappropriate relationship” between Mr. Trump and the government of Russia prompted the decision to launch obstruction of justice and counterintelligence investigations into the president.

After a Justice Department inspector general report found McCabe to be “lacking candor” on multiple occasions in conversations with federal investigators on multiple occasions, McCabe was fired by the FBI. He has suggested that the Office of the Inspector General was doing the president’s bidding in kicking him out just two days before his retirement.

“Look, what I know, Anderson, is that the president very publicly demanded a result, and the Office of the Inspector General delivered that result. I know they struggled to do so. Some of the documents that we’ve been able to review in the last few months clearly indicate that. But the president desired that I be gone before I could be eligible to retire. The Office of the Inspector General rushed to get that done on time,” he argued.

First published on February 20, 2019

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Emily Tillett

Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital