While Donald Trump's days of saying "you're fired" on The Apprentice may be behind him, it seems the president still enjoys letting people go. Trump took to Twitter to celebrate Andrew McCabe's termination hours after Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired the now-former FBI deputy director, calling it "a great day" for democracy and the FBI.
"Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI," Trump tweeted a few minutes after midnight Saturday. "A great day for Democracy."
The president then went on to attack both McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey. "Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy," Trump tweeted. "He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!"
In a statement announcing McCabe's dismissal late Friday, Sessions said he'd made the decision after a report from the Justice Department's inspector general alleged McCabe had "made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media." That report, which has not been made public, also reportedly alleges McCabe was not been honest "on multiple occasions," the Washington Post reported.
But McCabe, who was expected to retire Sunday, has characterized his termination as an attempt to "slander" him and "taint the FBI." In a statement released late Friday, McCabe claimed his dismissal was "part of this Administration's ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day."
Yet Trump's tweet on Friday wasn't the first time the president had used the social media network to attack McCabe. In December, shortly after news broke that McCabe was hoping to retire early, Trump appeared to question the now former FBI deputy director's right to collect retirement benefits. "FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!" Trump tweeted Dec. 23. In a separate tweet posted that same day Trump questioned McCabe's wife's connection to leading Democrats like Hillary Clinton. "How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife's campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?" the president tweeted.
And in July, in a tweet reiterating his presidential campaign's "drain the swamp" catchphrase, Trump questioned why Sessions hadn't already moved to oust McCabe. "Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives," Trump wrote in a series of tweets posted July 26. "Drain the Swamp!"
Trump's repeated public attacks on McCabe haven't gone unnoticed by the now former FBI deputy director. "For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an unrelenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country," McCabe said in a statement released shortly after news of his dismissal broke late Friday. "Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us. The President's tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all." McCabe also said Trump had "called" for him to be fired and "stripped" of his pension "after more than 20 years of service."
McCabe's lawyer also accused the president of using "repeated offensive drive-by Twitter attacks" on McCabe to put "inappropriate pressure" on Sessions in a statement released Friday.
McCabe's termination comes amid rumors the Trump administration is headed toward a major staff upheaval following Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's dismissal earlier this week. According to reports, even the president has reportedly dropped jokes about "who's next?"