US President Donald Trump ‘Not a Target’ in the Mueller Investigation
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Donald Trump last week that he is not a ‘target’ of any part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Mr. Rosenstein, who brought up the Mueller probe himself, offered the assurance during a meeting with President Trump at the White House last Thursday, a development that helped dampen the President’s desire to remove Messrs Rosenstein and Mueller.
After the meeting, it was learned that President Trump told some of his closest advisers that it’s not the right time to remove either man since he is not a target of the probe.
The event gives some breathing room for Mr. Mueller, as well as Mr. Rosenstein, who has been criticized strongly by House Republicans for being slow to comply with requests for classified documents.
Last week’s meeting was set up in part to allow Mr. Rosenstein to assuage President Trump’s frustration with his decisions.
Mr. Rosenstein’s message may have been based on a technicality.
President Trump may not officially be a target, but Mr. Mueller has not ruled out making him one at some point in the future, according to a US official with knowledge of the unfolding investigation.
President Trump, who has all of the leverage, still hasn’t ruled out removing Messers Rosenstein and Mueller at some point, signaled his shift in approach to them Wednesday, responding to a reporter’s question about their fate by saying they are “still here.”
“They’ve been saying I’m going to get rid of them for the last 3 months, 4 months, 5 months,” Mr. Trump said at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. “And they’re still here. We want to get the investigation over with, done with, put it behind us. And we have to get back to business.”
The Justice Department declined to comment on Mr. Rosenstein’s meeting with President Trump, which was also attended by White House General Counsel Don McGahn, FBI general counsel Dana Boente, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.