(CNSNews.com) - Conversations about Rod Rosenstein wearing a wire to secretly tape the president of the United States came up more than once and were serious, former Acting Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told CBS's Scott Pelley.
McCabe, sitting for a "60 Minutes" interview, told Pelley that he and other officials also discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office.
Pelley appeared on the CBS "This Morning" news set Thursday to describe the "most illuminating and surprising thing" to emerge from his interview with McCabe:
According to Pelley:
"There were meetings at the Justice Department in which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment.
"These were the eight days (in May) from Comey's firing to the point that Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel, and the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what to do with the president."
Norah O'Donnell, host of the CBS morning show, asked Pelley, "So McCabe is saying that (the 25th Amendment) was discussed?"
"Absolutely," Pelley responded. "McCabe, Norah, you point out, was the very first person involved in these meetings who has come out and spoken publicly."
O'Donnell asked Pelley, "But there was a discussion underway about removing the president of the United States?"
"They were counting noses," Pelley said. "They were not asking Cabinet members whether they would vote for or against removing the president. But they were speculating, this person would be with us; that person would not be; and they were counting noses in that effort."
"And this was not perceived to be a joke," Pelley continued. "It was also said at a previous time that the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, offered to wear a wire into the White House to record potentially incriminating conversations with the president.
"A statement was released after that, that that was never serious -- it was sarcastic, et cetera. McCabe, in our interview, says no. It came up more than once and it was so serious that he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it."
Last September, in response to a New York Times report, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a statement saying, "I never pursued or authorized recording the President, and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false."
According to Pelley, Rosenstein, in his statement, said he never authorized recording the president, "but that's not what we're talking about here. We're taking about discussing whether it was a possibility," Pelley said.
Rosenstein disputed the New York Times report as "inaccurate and factually incorrect."
"I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the Department and are advancing their own personal agenda," Rosenstein said. "But let me be clear about this: based on my personal dealings with the President, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
President Trump on Thursday reacted to the CBS report via Twitter:
-- Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a “poor little Angel” when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax - a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of “insurance policy” in case I won....
-- Many of the top FBI brass were fired, forced to leave, or left. McCabe’s wife received BIG DOLLARS from Clinton people for her campaign - he gave Hillary a pass. McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!