President Trump Postpones Rosenstein Meeting
Thursday, in order to avoid conflicting with a dramatic Senate hearing involving Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to the White House, a highly anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was postponed until next week.
The 2 men were set to meet Thursday following news media reports Rosenstein last year discussed possibly secretly recording the president and using the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
But White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the men agreed to reschedule their meeting because “they do not want to do anything to interfere with the hearing.”
President Trump said Wednesday that he would “certainly prefer not” to fire Mr. Rosenstein and that the Justice Department’s #2 official had denied making the remarks first attributed to him in a newspaper report.
President Trump said, “My preference would be to keep him and to let him finish up.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway would not say Thursday when the meeting would take place, but stressed the two will talk and Trump has made clear “he would prefer that the deputy attorney general stay on the job and complete the job.”
Any delay in the meeting would prolong the uncertainty of Mr. Rosenstein’s status.
Friends and former colleagues of Rosenstein say they did not expect him to step aside and give up oversight of the Russia investigation and the enormous swath of Justice Department operations for which he is responsible.
The Justice Department issued statements last Friday aimed at denying the reports, including 1 that said the wiretap remark was meant sarcastically.
Mr. Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May 2017, oversees his work and has repeatedly defended the breadth and scope of the probe.
President Trump has been critical of Mr. Rosenstein’s oversight of the probe, but the 2 men have at times displayed a warm working relationship, and Mr. Rosenstein has been spared some of the more personal and antagonistic broadsides leveled against US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Even if Mr. Rosenstein survives the week, it is not clear how much longer he will be around. President Trump signaled that he may fire USAG Sessions after the midterms, and Mr. Rosenstein could go with him.
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