"I Don't Care. I Believe Putin."

News  |  Feb 18, 2019

Arguably one of the most disturbing details to emerge from former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's 60 Minutes interview Sunday night was that President Trump dismissed information from his intelligence briefers regarding North Korea because Russian president Vladimir Putin told him something different. 

CBS News

McCabe told us, as the weeks wore on, the president continued to express what McCabe thought was a strange affinity for Russia. He remembers a day when an FBI official returned from the White House to brief McCabe on the results of a meeting with the president. 

Andrew McCabe: The president— launched into— several unrelated diatribes. One of those was commenting on the recent missile launches by the government of North Korea. And, essentially, the president said he did not believe that the North Koreans had the capability to hit us here with ballistic missiles in the United States. And he did not believe that because President Putin had told him they did not. President Putin had told him that the North Koreans don't actually have those missiles. 

Scott Pelley: And U.S. intelligence was telling the president what? 

Andrew McCabe: Intelligence officials in the briefing responded that that was not consistent with any of the intelligence our government possesses, to which the president replied, "I don't care. I believe Putin." 

Scott Pelley: What did you think when you heard that? 

Andrew McCabe: It's just an astounding thing to say. To spend the time and effort and energy that we all do in the intelligence community to produce products that will help decision makers and the ultimate decision maker, the President of the United States— make policy decisions, and to be confronted with an absolute disbelief in those efforts and a unwillingness to learn the true state of affairs that he has to deal with every day was just shocking.

Read more: Andrew McCabe: The full 60 Minutes interview (CBS News)