Andrew McCabe's Resignation Brings Early End To Tumultuous Relationship With White House

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FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who abruptly stepped down on Monday, told friends that he felt pressure to leave from the bureau's Director Christopher Wray, The New York Times reported.

The White House has since said it had nothing to do with Mr McCabe's departure from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He will immediately go on leave and plans to retire when he becomes eligible in mid-March.

Trump's not-involvement dates back at least to May, when, according to Washington Post, he asked McCabe who he voted for in the presidential election. President Trump and his allies have made McCabe a favorite target of criticism in recent months.

Trump maintains there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russian government, and has blasted the investigation as a "witch hunt".

Trump's dislike of McCabe dates back to October 2016, when news stories revealed McCabe's wife had run as a Democrat for the Virginia state legislature, aided with almost $500,000 in donations from the political action committee of then-Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of Hillary Clinton, and that McCabe had gone on to oversee probes involving Clinton.

Trump has accused McCabe of exerting influence on the FBI's decision not to file charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server.

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The removal may also have come by order of the Inspector General who is now investigating the Department of Justice and FBI over the handling of Hillary Clinton's email server investigation. Trump also reportedly berated McCabe over the political donations his wife received from McAuliffe.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "The President wasn't part of this decision-making process".

McCabe's exit follows WaPo's report by one week.

Trump has repeatedly tweeted that the Justice Department has insufficiently investigated Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign. He has called that inquiry a "hoax" and a "witch hunt".

Trump has publicly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian Federation probe, a move that paved the way for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Mueller after Comey's firing.

"The FBI must do what it can to move forward with a clean slate".