Updated Feb 14, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Timeline: Trump's turbulent relationship with Andrew McCabe

Trump and McCabe

Trump and McCabe. Photos: Getty Images

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has used every opportunity to face off against President Trump since his firing in March 2018. In his upcoming book "The Threat," McCabe recounts his time as deputy director and his embattled relationship with the president.

Here's a look at McCabe's tumultuous relationship with Trump since then.


  • May 9: Trump fires then-FBI director Comey. Before the firing, Trump reportedly complained to Comey that the investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin was a "cloud" over his presidency and asked Comey to "let [Michael Flynn] go." McCabe is named acting director.
  • May 11: McCabe testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee as acting director on the state of the Russia probe.
  • May: After he became acting director, Trump asked McCabe in an Oval Office meeting who he voted for in 2016, per the Washington Post. McCabe says he didn't vote.
  • July 25: Trump tweets, "the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!"
  • July 26: Trump tweets, "Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation..."
  • August 2: Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. McCabe becomes his deputy director.
  • December 23: The Washington Post reports that McCabe plans to retire in March 2018 "when he becomes fully eligible for pension benefits."
    • The same day, Trump goes after McCabe on Twitter: "How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?" He later tweets, "FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!"


  • Jan. 23: Axios' Jonathan Swan reports that Sessions — at the public urging of President Donald Trump — has been pressuring FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire McCabe, but Wray threatened to resign if McCabe was removed.
    • The same day, the Washington Post reports that Trump asked McCabe who he voted for in 2016 during an Oval Office conversation shortly after Comey's firing and that McCabe found the question "disturbing."
  • Jan. 29: NBC reports that McCabe is stepping down, and sources tell CBS' Pat Milton that McCabe was forced out. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump and the White House were not involved in McCabe's decision to step down.
  • Jan. 30: Senior officials at the FBI including McCabe, were aware that a batch of emails from Hillary Clinton had been found on Anthony Weiner's laptop long before then-Director James Comey disclosed their existence to Congress, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • March 16: McCabe had been fired by Sessions, shortly before his formal retirement. His firing follows an IG report that concluded he improperly disclosed information to reporters.
  • March 30: A GoFundMe page raised about $400,000 to help cover McCabe's legal fees.
  • April 13: DOJ's inspector general's report says that McCabe misled investigators as they looked in to his role in a media disclosure to the Wall Street Journal.
  • April 13: Trump tweets, "He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!"
  • April 19: DOJ's inspector general issued a criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney's Office in D.C. regarding its report that McCabe lied under oath about disclosing sensitive information to the media, the Washington Post reports.
  • April 20: McCabe was looking to sue for defamation, wrongful termination and other possible civil claims.
  • May 30: McCabe reportedly turned over a confidential memo detailing a behind-the-scenes conversation between McCabe and Rosenstein where Rosenstein explained that President Trump asked him to refer to the Russia investigation in a memo opposing then-FBI Director James Comey, reports the New York Times.
  • Sept. 21: The New York Times reported Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed rallying Cabinet members to remove Trump from office — by invoking the 25th Amendment — and suggested he secretly record the president in the White House in an effort to "expose the chaos consuming the administration.
  • Sept. 22: Rosenstein denied the NYT's leak. "I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false."
  • Sept. 27: Former House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued a subpoena ordering the Justice Department to hand over memos drafted by McCabe, which detail his meetings with top government officials.


  • Feb. 8: McCabe claimed he was directed to write the infamous Comey memo by President Trump, The Guardian reports.
  • Feb. 14: CBS' Scott Pelley dished on "CBS This Morning" how McCabe told him about the discussions to use the 25th Amendment, which the New York Times first reported in 2017.
  • Feb. 14: In excerpts published in The Atlantic, McCabe writes that President Trump "a deliberate liar who will say whatever he pleases to get whatever he wants" in his upcoming book "The Threat."
  • Feb. 14: Trump tweets, "Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a “poor little Angel” when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax - a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating."
  • Feb. 14: A DOJ spokesman commented on McCabe's interview, saying Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "rejects Mr. McCabe’s recitation of events as inaccurate and factually incorrect. The Deputy Attorney General never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references."
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