The Department of Justice's inspector general released an explosive report Friday that led to the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for his leaks to the media ahead of the 2016 election.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions dismissed him last month, two days before his scheduled retirement, for what he described as a lack of candor. The report says that McCabe "lacked candor" in a conversation with Comey when he said that he had not authorized the disclosure and didn't know who did.
McCabe, the report said, "lacked candor when he: (a) stated that he told Comey on October 31, 2016, that he had authorized the disclosure to the WSJ; (b) denied telling INSD agents on May 9 that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ about the PADAG call; and (c) asserted that INSD's questioning of him on May 9 about the October 30 WSJ article occurred at the end of an unrelated meeting when one of the INSD agents pulled him aside and asked him one or two questions about the article.
McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!", Trump tweeted on Friday in reference to the report on McCabe.
"The termination of Mr. McCabe was completely unjustified".
Trump portrayed the report's findings as vindication of his criticism of McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey as biased for their roles in shepherding along a federal probe into alleged collusion between Russian Federation and his 2016 campaign. McCabe disputes that finding, saying that he had full authority to disclose such information. The report alleges that McCabe improperly authorized the release of information to a newspaper reporter and then misled investigators about it.
Instead, the disclosure was made "in a manner created to advance his personal interests at the expense of department leadership", it said.
"President Trump will no doubt gloat about these findings and misuse them in his ongoing disinformation campaign", he continued, asserting that House Republicans "will nearly certainly try to use this report to fuel their efforts to distract from the abuses of power by this Administration and to undermine the Department of Justice".
The document itself, however, tells a different story.
That leak confirmed the existence of the probe, which then-FBI Director James Comey had until then refused to do so.
A spokesman for the inspector general's office declined to comment.
That may not matter to Mr Trump, who sees the executive offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a "den of thieves and lowlifes" akin to a law-enforcement version of the fictional Star Wars' Mos Eisley cantina.
On Friday morning, Trump tweeted that Comey was "a proven LEAKER & LIAR", a "weak and untruthful slime ball" and "a bad director of the FBI".
Mr McCabe, a 20-year veteran at the law enforcement agency, was sacked in March two days before he became eligible to retire with a full government pension.
The report claims that even if McCabe had been forthright about his actions, his disclosure still would have violated the FBI's media policy. He says that when he believed his answers to the inspector general were misunderstood, he went back and tried to correct them.