A pointed question

Oh lord.

Shortly after President Trump fired his FBI director in May, he summoned to the Oval Office the bureau’s acting director for a get-to-know-you meeting.

The two men exchanged pleasantries, but before long, Trump, according to several current and former U.S. officials, asked Andrew McCabe a pointed question: Whom did he vote for in the 2016 election?

You know why the tenure of the FBI director is normally ten years? So that the job won’t be dependent on the favor of one president. The goal is to have a Justice Department and FBI that are separate from the presidency, even though the DoJ is part of the Executive Branch. They need to operate independently to do the job properly. Trump’s question is insanely out of bounds. It’s also, to put it simply, none of his fucking business.

McCabe said he didn’t vote, according to the officials, who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about a sensitive matter.

Trump, the officials said, also vented his anger at McCabe over the several hundred thousand dollars in donations his wife, a Democrat, received for her failed 2015 Virginia state Senate bid from a political action committee controlled by a close friend of Hillary Clinton.

Again – none of his business.

McCabe, 49, who had been FBI deputy director for a little more than a year when James B. Comey was fired, is at the center of much of the political jockeying surrounding the investigation into potential coordination between Trump associates and the Kremlin. He has for months been the subject of Trump’s ire, prompting angrytweets suggesting that the Russia probe is politically motivated by Democrats sore about losing the election.

Meanwhile the angry tweets are motivated by fear and corruption, so there’s that.

McCabe, who has spent more than two decades at the bureau, found the conversation with Trump “disturbing,” said one former U.S. official. Inside the FBI, officials familiar with the exchange expressed frustration that a civil servant — even a very senior agent in the No. 2 position — would be asked how he voted and criticized for his wife’s political leanings by the president.

When the president is an unreconstructed bully, that’s what you get.

A year into his presidency, it is clear Trump still harbors a deep dislike of McCabe. Another White House official said Trump frequently complained about the FBI official, labeling him a Democrat. Over the past seven months or so, Trump has tweeted criticisms of McCabe, erroneously saying McCabe headed the Clinton investigation while his wife was taking Clinton money for her state Senate campaign.

Classic bully.

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