WASHINGTON – Congressional leaders did not object when they were informed two years ago that the FBI had opened a counterintelligence investigation into President Donald Trump's ties to Russia, Andrew McCabe, the bureau's former acting director, said Tuesday.
In an interview on NBC's "Today" show, McCabe said the secret briefing before the group of lawmakers known as the Gang of Eight occurred in the chaotic days of 2017 after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who led the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
McCabe said the president's action, in part, prompted him to order the inquiry into whether Trump acted on behalf of the Kremlin and posed a possible national security threat to the country.
While briefing lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., McCabe said none of the members opposed the action "not on legal grounds, not on constitutional grounds or based on the facts."
"No one objected," McCabe said in the interview.
Lawmakers did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
The briefing was on the same day Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to investigate the possibility of coordination between Trump's campaign and Russian efforts to sway the election in his favor.
McCabe, who had served as the bureau's deputy director, was elevated to acting FBI director after Comey was fired. He was fired for misleading Justice Department investigators about his contacts with the news media.
On "Today," McCabe discussed his new book, which describes interactions among the president, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Asked whether he thought Trump might have posed a threat to the United States, McCabe said, "We thought that might be possible, yes."
Trump blasted McCabe's book, asserting that the former FBI official's conduct was akin to "treason."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Andrew McCabe: Top lawmakers were told the FBI was investigating Trump and 'no one objected'