Donald Trump says it is 'a great day for democracy' after the FBI's former deputy director was fired.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has sacked Andrew McCabe, less than two days before the senior FBI official was eligible for retirement.
The firing comes after an internal FBI investigation into its former deputy leader, but Mr McCabe has claimed the Trump administration has made an 'unprecedented effort' to destroy his reputation.
Mr Trump fired the FBI's former director, James Comey, nearly a year ago.
Since then, Mr McCabe has been a frequent target of criticism from President Trump - and the US leader took to Twitter to express his satisfaction with yesterday's firing.
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
"Extensive and fair investigation"
According to the New York Times, Mr McCabe is accused in a currently unpublished internal report of 'failing to be forthcoming' about a conversation he authorised between FBI officials and a journalist
Mr Sessions explained Mr McCabe's firing in a statement, saying: "After an extensive and fair investigation and according to Department of Justice procedure, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) provided its report on allegations of misconduct by Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
"The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr McCabe. Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr McCabe had made an unauthorised disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions."
The statement adds: "The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability."
"I am being singled out"
In a a strongly-worded statement released to US media, Mr McCabe - who stepped down from his role as deputy FBI head in January - denied the accusations against him.
JUST IN: Statement from Andrew McCabe: "I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey.” https://t.co/t2XUf57p21 pic.twitter.com/Y6uv6gZ5pA
— ABC News (@ABC) March 17, 2018
He suggested: "This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally.
"It is part of this Administration's ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel's work."
Mr McCabe would have been entitled to a government pension from Sunday, and it was not immediately clear how his entitlements would be impacted by the firing.