World

Trump slams FBI for ‘leaking, lying and corruption'

He also blasts Mueller probe after firing FBI veteran Andrew McCabe

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump slammed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and hailed the firing of a veteran FBI agent as a "great day for democracy", a move his attorney said he hoped would bring an end to a probe into alleged collusion between the President's campaign and Russia.

Critics described the axing of Mr Andrew McCabe - the deputy of former FBI director James Comey - as a "dangerous" ploy to discredit the top US law enforcement agency as well as the work of Mr Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian influence in the 2016 election.

Mr McCabe is a potential key witness in the Russia probe.

Mr Trump on Saturday via Twitter blasted the alleged "tremendous leaking, lying and corruption at the highest levels of the FBI, Justice & State".

He also reiterated long-running criticism of the Mueller investigation, terming it a "witch hunt" and saying it "should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime" .

Earlier, his personal attorney John Dowd told the Daily Beast he hoped Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein would "bring an end to alleged Russia collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe's boss Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt dossier".

'SPEAKING FOR MYSELF'

Mr Dowd had said he was speaking for the President. But in a subsequent statement, he said he had been "speaking for myself, not the President".

Mr McCabe was fired by the Justice Department late on Friday, two days before he was to retire after 21 years with the FBI.

Critics said the firing is a step in Mr Trump's plan to engineer Mr Mueller's dismissal, potentially sparking a constitutional crisis.

Mr Mueller is also examining whether Mr Trump might have obstructed justice, including by firing Mr Comey last May.

Democratic lawmaker Mark Pocan of Wisconsin announced on Saturday that he offered Mr McCabe a job in his office so he can complete the time to retire with full federal benefits.

Mr McCabe's spokesman Melissa Schwartz said: "We are considering all options."

He has denied any impropriety and said he was the victim of Trump administration's "war" against the FBI and the special counsel.

He kept memos of his interactions with Mr Trump, US media reported on Saturday, adding that the documents could bolster his version of events.- AFP

WORLD