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Acting FBI director calls the Trump-Russia investigation 'highly significant'

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Thursday declared the ongoing FBI investigation into President Trump's ties to Russia "highly significant." McCabe's statement, made while testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, contradicted the White House's claim that this investigation is "probably one of the smallest things" the FBI has "got going on their plate." McCabe said he would not provide updates to the White House regarding the ongoing investigation.

McCabe also flatly denied the White House's claim that James Comey had lost the support of FBI rank-and-file before Trump abruptly fired him Tuesday. "[Former FBI] Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day," McCabe said, adding that the "vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection" to Comey. On Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed Comey had "lost the confidence" of FBI employees.

On top of the contradictions revealed Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein requested a meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee. Rosenstein's letter to Trump outlining a rationale for firing Comey has largely been credited as the impetus behind the decision, but reports suggest Rosenstein is irate the White House is blaming him for the ouster.