In an appearance on CNN Wednesday night, former FBI Deputy Director and current CNN contributor Andrew McCabe responded to a hypothetical question from CNN host Chris Cuomo about President Trump ordering investigations into political opponents. Cuomo, who said the situation may be "far-fetched," asked if it would be okay if Trump used the Department of Justice or IRS to dig into Sen. Mitt Romney's taxes.
"How about this for an example? Look, if you feel it's far-fetched, you tell me, Andrew. Mitt Romney. 'Hey, let's take a look at his taxes. Do me a favor, go look on him, see what holdings he still has.' How about they get some stink on him. And he says, 'Hey, put the screws to him.' Oh, you know what, we have him on the case, we're going to cut him a deal, really, this isn't a big infraction. 'No, I want the max.' If this is okay, why wouldn't that be okay? What is to stop it from being not what the president can do?" a concerned Cuomo asked.
"There's absolutely nothing to stop it, and I think we saw that again today in his comments in the Oval Office when the president, after talking about how bad he felt for Roger Stone, then rebounded into talking about how insistent he is that James Comey and I be prosecuted and thrown in jail."
"Vindman should be sent back to the military," Cuomo said, quoting Trump. "His people keep selling us this soft landing thing. He's going to go to the war college. That's a huge gig. Everybody wants that. Now the president says he should be investigated by the military."
"What's to stop that from happening?" Cuomo asked.
"Absolutely nothing," McCabe said again. "And we know this president makes his desires known to the agencies, to the agency heads, through his public statements on Twitter. We know that. We've seen that, of course, in this own case. I saw it in my own case, when in December of 2017, he claimed that he was racing me to my retirement."
"I guess he won that race," McCabe added.
"So that's the way that he works," he said. "For him to step back now and say that he had no influence on the Roger Stone decision whatsoever is utterly preposterous."
The following quote from the president on Wednesday about McCabe is what he was referring to:
PRESIDENT TRUMP: They treated Roger Stone very badly. They treated everybody very badly. And if you look at the Mueller investigation, it was a scam because it was illegally set up. It was set up based on false documentation and false documents.
If you look at what happened — how many people were hurt. Their lives were destroyed. And nothing happened with all the people that did it and launched this scam. Where’s Comey? Why — where is Comey? What’s happening to McCabe? What’s happening to Lisa and — to Pete Strzok and Lisa Page? What’s happening with them? It was a whole setup, it was a disgrace for our country, and everyone knows it too — everyone — including NBC, which gives a lot of fake news.