Published: Thu, September 27, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump Insists He Would Like Rod Rosenstein To Stay

Trump Insists He Would Like Rod Rosenstein To Stay

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would "much prefer" not firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, after reports indicated last week that Rosenstein had discussed secretly recording Trump and the using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office a year ago.

He paused that effort just before the August recess, but said he may still pursue it if the Justice Department doesn't provide thousands of documents Republicans want related to the Russian Federation investigation.

The White House sought this week to reassure senators that Trump doesn't plan to fire Rosenstein at the meeting, and doing so in person would be out of character for a president who has appeared reluctant to directly dismiss aides himself.

When asked directly on Wednesday afternoon whether he planned to fire his deputy attorney general, Trump said he would "prefer" to keep him and let him.

Christian Civil Rights Watch Co-founder and Chief Counsel Matt Barber contends that Rosenstein is in big trouble.

Speaking at a rare news conference in New York, Trump said he may push back the highly-anticipated meeting with the Justice Department's second-in-command.

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"It's speculation at this point, but Rosenstein has shown in the past - in digging in his heels and defying the Congressional subpoenas and the like - that he is not going too gently into that good night", the Christian leader offered. "I'll be watching", Mr. Trump said of the televised hearing. Senators will hear from both Christine Blasey Ford, one of the women to accuse Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault - and from the judge himself.

"There's never been a cleaner guy in the Justice Department than this man", said Baltimore lawyer Steven Silverman, a Rosenstein friend.

Rosenstein's job has been in question since The New York Times reported last week that he had talked about recording the president and invoking the 25th Amendment against Mr. Trump, which would set in motion the process to remove him from office. "And he was very nice, and we'll see".

Meadows tweeted Tuesday that the Freedom Caucus has decided Rosenstein should testify or resign.

White House officials called senators Monday to say Trump had said he wouldn't be firing Rosenstein at the meeting, according to two people familiar with the conversations who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private discussions.

Rosenstein's departure, though, could throw a cloud of confusion over the election investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which Trump has called a "witch hunt", and put its future in doubt.

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