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Acting FBI Director McCabe backs up Trump administration on one key detail

  • McCabe said he was unaware of any request for additional resources.
  • McCabe said if the FBI were to request more resources, it would ask Congress.
  • The acting FBI director told senators he believes the FBI has sufficient resources for the probe.

For most of the last two days, numerous accounts have discredited White House explanations for the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

That made it noteworthy when acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe seemed to back up the Trump administration on one point: whether Comey's firing followed his request for more resources into the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion with President Donald Trump's campaign.

Press reports have said yes. The Trump administration says no.

Asked to clear up which side was right, McCabe made three separate points. Two of them supported the administration's account. and one added a note of ambiguity.

First, McCabe said he was unaware of any such request. Advantage White House.

Second, he said if the FBI were to ask for more resources, the request would be made of Congress (which appropriates money) rather than the executive branch. Again, advantage White House.

"You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing." -Andrew McCabe, acting director, Federal Bureau of Investigation

That's when McCabe added the note of ambiguity. He said the FBI doesn't request money from Congress for individual cases, but rather for the bureau overall.

Which leaves open the possibility that a Comey request could have been a different kind — a request to the administration to reshuffle existing funds already approved by Congress to augment the Russia probe.

In any case, McCabe told senators that he believes the FBI has sufficient resources for the probe now, and promised to request more should he conclude that it does not. Moreover, he pledged that the bureau would follow the truth wherever it leads.

"You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI," he said, "from doing the right thing."