Acting FBI Director: 'Not Accurate' to Say Comey Lost Support of Rank and File
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said in a Senate hearing moments ago that former director James Comey had not lost support of "rank and file" agents.
At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing alongside other law enforcement and intelligence officials, McCabe was asked by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) whether it's accurate to say that Comey was "no longer supported" by the rank and file.
"No sir, that is not accurate," McCabe answered.
McCabe said Comey "enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day," acknowledging a "diversity of opinions on many things" among the bureau's 36,500 employees.
"I can confidently tell you the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey," he said.
McCabe is leading the bureau following the firing of Comey by President Donald Trump on Tuesday. The White House has asserted that the firing was necessary because rank and file agents no longer supported Comey.
Democrats have accused Trump of dismissing Comey in order to squash the investigation into Russian interference in the election and possible collusion by Trump associates.
The Senate will need to hold confirmation hearings when a new FBI director is nominated by Trump.
McCabe said at the hearing that the bureau has adequate resources to carry out the investigation. According to reports, Comey asked the Justice Department for additional resources for the Russia probe days before his firing.
Sen. Angus King (I-ME) pointed out a statement by the White House that the Russia probe is one of the "smallest" investigations going on at the FBI.
"We consider it to be a highly significant investigation," McCabe answered, adding he would not characterize it in that way.
Watch the clip above.