Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions once complained about the racial composition of the FBI and reminisced about the “old days” where “you all only hired Irishmen,” according to a memoir written by former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.
“Back in the old days, he said, you all only hired Irishmen,” Sessions said, according to an excerpt of McCabe’s memoir that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “They were drunks but they could be trusted. Not like all those new people with nose rings and tattoos.”
Sessions is of English, Irish, and Scottish heritage, according to a profile published by Cosmopolitan magazine in May 2018.
One person familiar with Sessions’ thinking brushed off the claim and said “the idea of him ever saying a disparaging thing about anyone in law enforcement is laughable,” The Journal reported.
McCabe has said he kept contemporaneous notes of his interactions with various White House officials, including President Donald Trump and Sessions.
The former deputy FBI director wrote that during his encounters with Sessions, the attorney general was primarily focused on addressing immigration issues, The Journal reported. In cases involving counterterrorism, Sessions would allegedly inquire about the suspect’s birthplace or their parents’ origin.
McCabe’s memos revealed intimate details of the inner turmoil of the Justice Department during Trump’s presidency, according to previous reporting from The New York Times. One of the memos claimed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein considered recording his conversations with Trump, and that he considered invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
Read more: Trump reportedly used similar tactics to get inside the head of another FBI official after he fired James Comey
The Justice Department denied the allegation in a statement and described it as “inaccurate and factually incorrect,” The Journal said.
McCabe said in a recent CBS interview that his concern about the Trump presidency was prompted by the precipitous firing of FBI director James Comey in May 2017. McCabe said he became “very concerned” following the abrupt firing, and subsequently launched an investigation to determine whether Trump had undisclosed ties to Russia.
“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground in an indelible fashion that were I removed quickly, or reassigned, or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace,” McCabe said in a CBS News interview set to air on Sunday.
McCabe was ultimately fired in March 2018, one day before he was expected to retire. An internal investigation concluded McCabe had authorized the FBI to disclose information related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server to the media, and that he “lacked candor” when questioned about the incident.
During his tenure, McCabe often butted heads with Trump, who frequently railed against him, his wife, and the FBI.
“The work of the FBI is being undermined by the current president,” McCabe reportedly wrote in his memoir. “He and his partisan supporters have become corrosive to the organization.”
The memoir, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” is scheduled for release on February 19.