Jill McCabe, an emergency room pediatrician and the wife of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, has spoken out for the first time since her husband’s dismissal, calling attacks on her family “false and utterly absurd.”
In a forceful rebuke of the barrage of claims made against her “personal reputation and integrity,” McCabe wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Post that “I want people to know that the whole story that everything is based on is just false and utterly absurd.”
McCabe said that in the wake of her husband’s firing — which came one day before his planned retirement — she aims to speak freely and set the record straight.
“I am an emergency room pediatrician and an accidental politician — someone who never thought much about politics until I was recruited to run for state office after making a statement about the importance of expanding Medicaid,” she wrote. “That decision — plus some twisted reporting and presidential tweets — ended up costing my husband, Andrew, his job and our family a significant portion of his pension my husband had worked hard for over 21 years of federal service.”
McCabe called the last year and half a “nightmare,” adding, “I have spent countless hours trying to understand how the president and so many others can share such destructive lies about me.”
President Donald Trump targeted the McCabes, unleashing Twitter assaults that called into question Andrew McCabe’s integrity, specifically for his work on the Clinton investigation, and suggested that he had a conflict of interest because his wife’s campaign accepted donations from political groups affiliated with former Gov. Terry McAuliffe — who has close ties to the Clintons.
The Fake News is beside themselves that McCabe was caught, called out and fired. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars was given to wife’s campaign by Crooked H friend, Terry M, who was also under investigation? How many lies? How many leaks? Comey knew it all, and much more!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
“Ultimately I believe it somehow never occurred to them that I could be a serious, independent-minded physician who wanted to run for office for legitimate reasons.”
McCabe ran for Virginia state office in 2015 after years of working in a hospital emergency room, knowing first-hand the impact of rising health-care costs. Some of the calls urging her to run came from Virginia’s then-Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and McAuliffe.
During a meeting with the governor, McCabe said that McAuliffe was only interested in discussing her position on expanding Medicaid and “the subject of Hillary Clinton never came up.”
McCabe insists that her husband, then the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office “kept himself separate from my campaign.” He assumed the role of deputy director at the FBI after his wife lost her race.
He did not knock on a single door on her behalf or even drive his family to knock on doors, nor attend a single fundraiser, McCabe wrote. The only involvement her husband had during her run for office was wearing a campaign T-shirt for a family photo.
Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill, June 7, 2017.
Bucking one of Trump’s most frequent attacks, Jill McCabe wrote that while her campaign “received funding from the state Democratic Party and the governor’s PAC” it was “on par with what other candidates in competitive races on both sides of the aisle received.”
“All those contributions were publicly reported,” she added. “And of course, again, Clinton’s emails never came up — if they had, I would have found that alarming, immediately reported it and likely pulled out of the campaign.”
Jill McCabe also refuted the claim that contributions to her campaign influenced her husband’s decisions while he served at the FBI.
“This could not be further from the truth. In fact, it makes no sense,” she wrote. “Andrew’s involvement in the Clinton investigation came not only after the contributions were made to my campaign but also after the race was over.”
Andrew McCabe previously insisted to ABC News that politics was “absolutely not” a factor in any of the decisions he made while serving at the FBI, and noted that he considers himself a lifelong Republican. He was fired last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded McCabe misled investigators looking into how Justice Department and FBI officials handled matters associated with the 2016 presidential election. He stepped down from his job as deputy director in January.
Jill McCabe wrote that as soon as then-FBI Director James Comey was fired, she and her family “knew that Andrew could be the next target of the president’s wrath.” On the day of his firing, Trump tweeted in a triumphant tone that it was a “great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI.”
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
In the aftermath of these attacks, Jill McCabe maintains that she ran for office because she was “trying to help people.” But, she said, “Instead, it turned into something that was used to attack our family, my husband’s career and the entire FBI.”
ABC News’ Mike Levine contributed to this report.