Still enigmatic

The Atlantic too is puzzled by McCabe’s abrupt departure…or defenestration, as the url but not the title calls it.

McCabe was expected to stick around until March. Instead, he abruptly departed Monday, though he’ll still be collecting those benefits. The deputy director is taking what is ominously known as “terminal leave”—he has accrued enough leave to depart his post now but not officially retire until benefits vest.The reasons for McCabe’s abrupt exit are not clear, though. It’s not even clear whether McCabe’s exit came as a surprise to FBI insiders or not. Some reports say yes, while others say no. For what it’s worth, NPR’s Carrie Johnson said in December that McCabe might use accrued leave to depart before March.

Maybe he just decided: fuck it, I’m off.

At Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president had not played any role in McCabe’s dismissal. This may be true in a narrow sense—Trump may have not ordered his terminal leave—but it’s preposterous in a broader sense. Trump has repeatedly tweeted attacks on McCabe, a move unprecedented before Trump, and according to The Washington Post demanded to know for whom McCabe voted during a meeting in May 2017…

NBC News also reported Monday that after Comey was fired, Trump called McCabe, furious that Comey had been allowed to return home from Los Angeles on a government plane. McCabe reportedly told the president that he had not been asked to approve the flight but would have done so:

The president was silent for a moment and then turned on McCabe, suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser — an apparent reference to a failed campaign for state office in Virginia that McCabe’s wife made in 2015.

McCabe replied: “OK, sir.” Trump then hung up the phone.

Wow. What an asshole.

As so often with Trump it makes me want to see someone, just once, be that frankly rude and contemptuous to him to his face on live television with the whole world watching.

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