President Donald Trump again took aim on Saturday at deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, saying he was “racing the clock to retire”, as US media reported McCabe plans to step down.
“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits,” Trump tweeted. “90 days to go?!!!”
CNN, CBS and The Washington Post all reported that the 49-year-old McCabe plans to retire, possibly in March, when he will be eligible for full pension benefits.
An FBI spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
McCabe has faced intense pressure from Trump, who for more than a year has challenged the FBI official’s connections to the Democratic Party even while suggesting more recently that the long-respected agency was “in tatters”.
But with administration officials themselves under mounting pressure from the investigation by former FBI chief Robert Mueller into links between Trump’s election campaign and Russia, the president’s pointed criticism of McCabe has raised concerns among Democrats who fear he might be laying the groundwork to oust, or at least undermine, Mueller.
In a second tweet Saturday, Trump suggested that McCabe’s wife, a Virginia politician, had been given $700,000 by allies of Hillary Clinton at a time he was involved in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server.
The FBI has said McCabe did not start overseeing the Clinton investigation until his wife’s campaign for the Virginia Senate was over.
A Justice Department inspector general has been examining McCabe’s role in the Clinton investigation.
Democrats have urged McCabe to resist pressure to step down, which they say is politically motivated.
A US federal judge on Saturday lifted Trump administration restrictions that barred some refugees from the country, the latest in a series of immigration-related legal setbacks for the president.
The United States said in October that it would resume accepting refugees after a 120-day ban ordered by President Donald Trump expired, but some — including those from 11 “high-risk” countries, most of which are Muslim majority — were still barred from entering.
In his ruling on Saturday, Judge James Robart ordered American authorities to resume processing and admitting so-called “follow-to-join” refugees, which would once again allow the spouse and unmarried children of a refugee already in the country to be admitted.
And he also ordered that “follow-to-join” refugees and “other refugees with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity within the United States” from the 11 “high-risk” countries be processed and admitted as well.
The ruling is in response to motions for preliminary injunctions filed in two separate cases.
“Plaintiffs in both cases are refugees, who find themselves in dire circumstances, their family members who yearn to be reunited with them, and humanitarian organisations whose fundamental mission is to help these vulnerable refugees resettle in the United States,” Robart wrote in his ruling.
“Plaintiffs in both cases present compelling circumstances of irreparable harm inflicted by the federal agencies’ action at issue here.”
Trump’s attempts at banning travelers from several mainly Muslim nations have been met with successive legal challenges this year.
Critics say the president’s measures target Muslims, while the Trump administration has sought to cast the restrictions as being aimed at shoring up security.
US President Donald J Trump participates in a video teleconference call with military members on Christmas Eve in Palm Beach, Florida.