President Trump will meet with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein aboard Air Force One on Monday, suggesting that Rosenstein’s employment status is safe for the time being following a tense several weeks of speculation over whether the man running the Russia investigation would resign or be fired. Prior to the flight, Trump told reporters that he has no plans to fire Rosenstein.
“I actually have a good relationship — other than there’s been no collusion folks, no collusion,” Trump said, adding that he looks forward to being with him.
“We’re going to be talking. We’ll be talking on the plane.”
The two will have their most extensive conversation since September news reports that Rosenstein had discussed secretly taping Trump, and possibly invoking the 25th amendment to remove him from office.
The DOJ has denied the charges, and said that Rosenstein’s recording remark was meant sarcastically. Still, Rosenstein reportedly told White House officials that he was willing to resign, as he expected to be fired. In a tumultuous day, Rosenstein met with White House chief of staff John Kelly and had a phone call with President Trump, however he kept his job.
Trump has said publicly that he would prefer not to fire the Justice Department’s No. 2 official and that Rosenstein has told him he did not say the remarks attributed to him. Advisers had also cautioned Trump against doing anything dramatic in the weeks before the midterm elections next month, suggesting Rosenstein’s job is safe at least for now. –AP
If Rosenstein is terminated, it would most certainly affect the special counsel’s Russia probe into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, as Rosenstein appointed former FBI Robert Mueller to lead the investigation.
Trump and Rosenstein were expected to meet at the White House days later, however that was derailed by the Brett Kavanaugh circus.
On Monday, Trump will speak at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Orlando, while the DOJ has said that reducing violent crime and supporting local law enforcement are key goals. Rosenstein, meanwhile, has agreed to a private meeting with House Republicans to answer questions over his reported statements about the President.
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