Trump's 'relentless attack' on FBI prompted memoir by former official: NPR

Feb 18 (Reuters) - Former top FBI official Andrew McCabe decried the "relentless attack" he said U.S. President Donald Trump has launched against the agency, according to released excerpts of an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, to be aired early Monday.

"I think the FBI has been under a relentless attack in the last two years," said McCabe, who is promoting his new memoir, "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terrorism and Trump."

Trump's attack is one of the reasons he wrote his book, he said in a wide-ranging interview that covered everything from his own firing, the probe into Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election, and FBI morale.

McCabe denied news reports that anyone in the Justice Department had made a serious effort to remove the president.

"At no time did I ever perceive that there was a legitimate effort underway by [Deputy Attorney General] Rod or anybody else to remove the president under the 25th Amendment or in any other way," McCabe said in the interview.

Related: James Comey's life after being fired by President Trump:

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James Comey's life after President Trump fired him as FBI director
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James Comey's life after President Trump fired him as FBI director
James Comey, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), speaks during an interview in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Comey said he's 'disappointed and disgusted' with Republican attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, a campaign led by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani since he became one of President Donald Trump's top lawyers. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Former FBI Director James Comey arrives to speak about his book "A Higher Loyalty" in New York, U.S., April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Attendees collect their copies of former FBI director James Comey's book as they arrive to hear him speak at an onstage interview at George Washington University in Washington, U.S. April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 07: Former FBI director James Comey laughs while answering questions during an interview forum at the Washington Post May 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. Comey discussed his stormy tenure as head of the FBI, his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, his tense relationship with President Trump and his controversial firing a year ago, during the forum. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Former FBI Director James Comey arrives for a taping of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Former FBI director James Comey speaks about his book during an onstage interview with Axios Executive Editor Mike Allen at George Washington University in Washington, U.S. April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former Federal Bureau of Investigations Director James Comey departs after testifying before a closed session of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Former FBI Director James Comey talks onstage at George Washington University April 30, 3018 in Washington, DC. Comey discussed his new book 'Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on "Russian Federation Efforts to Interfere in the 2016 U.S. Elections" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlines how a sitting president can be removed by the vice president and cabinet.

He also said in the interview that he believes his own firing just hours before his retirement "sends an unbelievably chilling message to the rest of the men and women of the FBI.

McCabe was dismissed from the FBI in March 2018, following a tumultuous relationship with Trump, after the President fired former FBI director James Comey over the investigation into the Trump election campaign's alleged connections with Russia.

Trump, who has frequently criticized Comey, McCabe and the Russia inquiry, on Thursday attacked McCabe on Twitter as a leaker and a "disgrace to the FBI."

In June 2017, Comey told a Senate committee he believed Trump had directed him to drop a probe into the Republican president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, as part of the broader Russia investigation.

McCabe himself was later fired by then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who cited an internal Federal Bureau of Investigation watchdog report that found McCabe leaked information to reporters and misled investigators about his actions. McCabe said he was targeted over the Russia probe.

In the Morning Edition interview, McCabe said he has an oingoing civil lawsuit against the Department of Justice over the circumstances of his firing.

He said he believes the report by the FBI's Office of Inspector General used as the basis of his dismissal was biased against him. He pointed to the personal attacks Trump has launched against him on Twitter and said of the OIG, "I don't believe they were independent or fair."

The book is set to be released this week.

(Reporting by Rich McKay, Editing by William Maclean)

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