Thursday on MSNBC’s “Deadline,” former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe commented on President Donald Trump saying he would accept “dirt” on political opponents from foreign governments.

McCabe said, “As you know, the standard for opening our case is when we have information that might indicate that a threat to national security might exist or that a federal crime may have been committed. And so, in that time, in May of 2017, we clearly had that sort of information. We knew what the Russians had been doing since 2014, 2015, attacking our cyber infrastructure, our academic institutions, government institutions, think tanks. We knew they attacked the DNC. They weaponized that material to try to hurt Candidate Clinton and help Candidate Trump. We knew Trump was upset about the fact we were investigating that activity. He specifically asked us to stop investigating that activity, and when we didn’t follow his requests, he fired the director. ”

He continued, “So at that point, we had to consider the very real prospect that the president might be presenting a threat to national security. I have to tell you the comments I heard yesterday only reaffirm for me the concerns that we had in May of 2017.”

He added, “Look, this is what foreign intelligence services do every day. Their bread butter is building relationships and creating leverage with decision makers in government. That’s how they influence policy decisions. That’s how they collect information they shouldn’t have. If I am a foreign intelligence officer today, the message I got from the president’s own words yesterday was, it is open season on U.S. political figures in 2020.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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