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FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Photo: Pete Marovich / Getty Images

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down, effective today, multiple sources familiar with the matter told NBC News. McCabe will "remain on the FBI payroll until he is eligible to retire with full benefits in mid-March," NBC reports.

There were reports last month that McCabe, 49, planned to retire in the coming months, but sources told CBS' Pat Milton that McCabe was forced out. NBC's Pete Williams notes that in addition to the distraction caused by criticism from President Trump, McCabe may be anticipating the release of an inspector general's report on how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation.

Timing: The move comes after Axios’ Jonathan Swan scooped last week that Attorney General Jeff Sessions — at the public urging of President Donald Trump — had pressured FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire McCabe.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday that Trump "wasn't a part of the decision-making process" surrounding his departure.

What's next: Associate Deputy Director of the FBI, David Bowdich, has been appointed to Acting Deputy Director of the FBI, reports CNN, replacing McCabe.

Dave Lawler 7 hours ago
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What Trump and Putin did and didn't discuss

President Trump spoke with Vladimir Putin this afternoon, and congratulated him on winning re-election on Sunday. After the call, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked whether Trump felt the election had been free and fair, and said it wasn’t up to the U.S. to “dictate" how Russia holds elections.

The bottom line: Trump is not alone in congratulating Putin — leaders in France, Germany and elsewhere have done so this week, as Barack Obama did in 2012. But past administrations certainly have seen it as America’s role to call balls and strikes when it comes to elections abroad, and weigh in when democratic institutions are being undermined. A departure from that approach would be welcomed not only by Putin, but other leaders of pseudo democracies around the world.

Haley Britzky 5 hours ago
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The strange saga of Ben Carson and his table

Ben Carson.
Secretary Ben Carson. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has been in hot water in recent weeks over reports that he ordered a $31,000 dining set for his office using taxpayer dollars. His latest explanation, on Tuesday: "I left it to my wife."

The bigger picture: Carson joins other cabinet officials who have been scrutinized for seemingly lavish spending. From a cost standpoint, his case is far from the most eye-popping — but it includes some particularly interesting twists and turns.