Mar 17, 2018

Source: McCabe gave interview, memos to Mueller

Mueller after briefing members of Congress on Capitol Hill last year. Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who was fired Friday night, has met with special counsel Robert Mueller's team and has turned over memos detailing interactions with President Trump, according to a source familiar with the exchange.

  • McCabe's interview with Mueller's prosecutors apparently included what he knows about former FBI director James Comey's firing.

The bottom line: The memos include corroboration by McCabe of Comey's account of his own firing by Trump, according to the source.

  • McCabe alluded to that in a 10-paragraph statement right after his firing, in which he said: "[M]y testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the President."
  • The handful of memos document both McCabe's own direct engagement with the president and Comey's.
  • The memos include an account of at least one in-person meeting with Trump, the source said.

Why it matters: The specifics of Trump's thinking about Comey are of acute interest to Mueller, in part because of Trump's own statements linking the firing to the Russia investigation that is at the heart of the special counsel's mission.

  • Any obstruction of justice argument would center on Trump's firing of Comey. McCabe has signaled that he will be corroborating Comey's account, and with contemporaneous, detailed notes.

Axios sought comment from the special counsel's office.

Go deeper: Statement by McCabe's lawyer, Michael Bromwich, a former inspector general ... Justice Department statement on firing ... McCabe's bio ... Quotes provided about McCabe from prominent national security and FBI/DOJ figures.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 37 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins