- George Bennett Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
A sunny day at his golf course with three PGA Tour players on Saturday didn’t quell President Donald Trump’s frustration with the FBI over its investigations of Hillary Clinton’s emails and alleged collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
On the first full day of a Christmas holiday stay at his Mar-a-Lago estate, the president joined professional golfers Daniel Berger, Jim Herman and Justin Thomas as well as Thomas’ father at Trump International Golf Club, west of West Palm Beach. At about 3:30 p.m., about an hour after the golf outing, Trump took to Twitter to blast FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and McCabe’s former boss, James Comey, the FBI director Trump fired in May.
Trump and other Republicans have accused McCabe and other FBI officials of going easy on Clinton, who was criticized by Comey but not charged with wrongdoing for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
The White House this month accused FBI leadership of “extreme bias” after it was revealed that a pair of FBI agents had exchanged anti-Trump text messages during the Clinton and Russia probes. Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed one of the agents, Peter Strzok, from his team after learning of the texts over the summer.
“How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” Trump tweeted about an hour after returning from the golf course.
Trump also slammed McCabe on Twitter in July. The $700,000 figure refers to contributions McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, received in 2015 when she ran a losing Democratic campaign for a state Senate seat in Virginia. Jill McCabe received $467,500 from a PAC controlled by Virginia Gov. and longtime Clinton friend Terry McAuliffe and another $207,788 from the McAuliffe-influenced Democratic Party of Virginia.
Trump also seized on a Washington Post report Saturday that McCabe plans to retire as soon as he’s eligible for pension benefits in March 2018.
“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!” Trump tweeted shortly after his initial tweet about McCabe.
Trump, who arrived Friday afternoon for a planned 10-day stay at Mar-a-Lago, left just before 9 a.m. to make the 4½-mile trip to Trump International on Summit Boulevard in unincorporated West Palm Beach.
Berger, Herman and Thomas joined an already impressive list of golfers who have played with Trump since he took office in January. Trump this year has hit the links with golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as well as Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Brad Faxon.
Trump returned to Mar-a-Lago from the golf course shortly after 2 p.m. Half a dozen supporters and a lone protester greeted the motorcade with signs at the Southern Boulevard bridge, which crosses the Intracoastal Waterway between West Palm Beach and Palm Beach.