President Donald Trump "wasn't a part of the decision-making process" that led to Monday's exit of Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted shortly after word broke of the exit.
McCabe was expected to resign in March when he was eligible for retirement and full benefits.
An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment. McCabe exited the FBI building around noon on Monday after more than 20 years with the bureau. Instead, Mr. McCabe made his intentions known to colleagues on Monday, an American official said, and will immediately go on leave.
"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?"
Donald Trump became enraged after seeing footage of James Comey using a government-funded airplane the day after he fired the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, calling Andrew McCabe to complain about the trip-and call the former acting director's wife "a loser".
During the call, Trump suggested that McCabe ask his wife how it feels to be a loser, in an apparent reference to her failed campaign for office, according to NBC.
But Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that has sued the government for records related to McCabe, said in a Twitter message, "Something must have happened to trigger his abrupt departure".
McCabe has become a target of Republican lawmakers and the Republican president in connection with the FBI's investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server while she served as U.S. secretary of state. The President did not answer a reporter's question at the White House about McCabe's departure.
"He was the star of my speeches", Trump said, referring to McCabe.
Republicans have noted that McCabe's wife previously ran for a seat in Virginia's state Senate and received donations from then-Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of Hillary and Bill Clinton, the former president.
"FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is, and has been, a dedicated public servant who has served this country well", former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted Monday.