Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy director Andrew McCabe stepping down

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe - a frequent target of US President Donald Trump's ire dating back to the 2016 presidential election - is stepping down from the job, only months before the date in March when he can retire with full pension benefits.

The White House was not involved in McCabe's decision, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday afternoon.

News is reporting that the day after FBI Director James Comey was sacked, President Donald Trump called then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to complain that Comey was able to fly home on a government plane.

McCabe went on leave from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday, pending the effective date of his retirement in March, said two government officials familiar with the move.

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McCabe served as the agency's acting director this summer after Trump fired former director James Comey in May.

But a source familiar with the matter said FBI Director Christopher Wray told McCabe he is bringing in his own team, which he would not be a part of, and that it was McCabe's decision whether to stay at the FBI or leave. He had served in the FBI's No. 2 role since January 2016.

But Sanders said Trump stood by his criticism of McCabe and the White House had "some concerns" over McCabe's work at the bureau.

Mr Trump had also hit out at Mr McCabe on Twitter after it emerged that his wife received a campaign contribution when she ran for office in Virginia in 2015 from an ally of Mrs Clinton - the then-Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe. But Trump and the administration was "not happy" with him, the same source said.

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His role began in February 2016, following his appointment as deputy director and three months after his wife, Jill McCabe, lost her bid for a state Senate seat.

"The president was not part of this decision-making process", she said. "90 days to go?!".

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment on McCabe. But as a civil service employee, McCabe could not be fired without clear evidence of wrongdoing.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the newspaper that the IG report looks into actions taken by McCabe and other bureau officials during the campaign, when the FBI was probing both Hillary Clinton and the Trump camp's ties to Russian Federation. In those texts, they called Trump an "idiot" and a "loathsome human".

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  • Ryan Wade