Donald Trump has launched attack on James Comey and his former deputy, calling them a “den of thieves and lowlifes” after the publication of a damning official report.
The Department of Justice’s inspector general published a report into the behaviour of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, saying he had repeatedly lied to investigators about his role in giving information to a reporter.
The report, delivered to politicians on Friday, detailed an investigation that Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited when he fired Mr McCabe last month, hours before Mr McCabe was set to retire and receive his full pension, according to the Associated Press. The report had nothing damaging to say about Mr Comey.
Mr Trump leapt on the report with apparent glee.
“DOJ just issued the McCabe report – which is a total disaster,” he tweeted. “He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey – McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!”
Mr Trump had accused Mr McCabe of bias, and the president’s critics said he as being fired as part of a Republican effort to discredit a federal probe into alleged ties between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign.
The report, authored by inspector general Michael Horowitz, said McCabe “lacked candour” in conversations with Mr Comey and other officials about his role in providing information to a Wall Street Journal reporter about an probe into Hillary Clinton, according to the AP.
Mr McCabe, who has argued he was being singled out because he was a witness into whether Mr Trump tried to obstruct the federal probe, said in a statement on Friday he was authorised to share that information with reporters and had not intentionally misled anyone.
“McCabe had no motive to lie or mislead about media contacts he had the authority to direct,” said Mr McCabe’s lawyer, Michael Bromwich.
Mr Bromwich also said he was considering filing a defamation lawsuit against Mr Trump and his “colleagues”.
The remarks came on the day Mr Trump was attacked by Mr Comey as unethical in excerpts of an forthcoming memoir.