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In an upcoming interview with "60 Minutes," former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CBS's Scott Pelley that the Justice Department had to discuss "whether the vice president and a majority of the cabinet could be brought together to remove" President Trump under the 25th Amendment.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Why it matters: McCabe's interview with Pelley marks the first person involved in those meetings to speak publicly. "They were counting noses," Pelley told "CBS This Morning" on Thursday. "They were not asking cabinet members whether they would vote for or against removing the president, but they were speculating."

  • The NYT first reported on this back in September of 2017.
  • "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," a Justice Department spokesperson on behalf of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told Axios at the time.

The other side: A DOJ spokesman commented on McCabe's interview, saying 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."

  • "As the Deputy Attorney General previously stated, based on his personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the DAG in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment."
  • "Subsequent to this removal, DOJ’s Inspector General found that Mr. McCabe did not tell the truth to the federal authorities on multiple occasions, leading to his termination from the FBI."

Go deeper: Fired FBI deputy director: Trump directed Rosenstein to write Comey memo

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House cancels Thursday session as FBI, Homeland Security warn of threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says extremists have discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

2 hours ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).