Trump may put off meeting Rosenstein, would 'prefer' him to stay

President Trump said he would prefer to keep Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein but may delay his scheduled meeting with him so he can watch Thursday’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh.

The New York Times reported last week that Rosenstein had suggested recording a meeting with Trump in the context of possibly invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. Rosenstein denied the story. Reports circulated Monday that he was about to be dismissed or resign, but he has remained in the job.

“We’ve had a good talk,” said Trump.ld “He said he never said it. He said he doesn’t believe it. He says he has a lot of respect for me and he was very nice and we’ll see and he’s a member of the Trump administration in that sense, it’s the Justice Department. I would certainly prefer [not firing him]. There was no collusion, there was no obstruction. Unless you call obstruction the fact that I fight back, I really fight back. If you call that obstruction, that’s fine.”

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Rod Rosenstein through the years
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Rod Rosenstein through the years
Rod Rosenstein, nominee to be Deputy Attorney General, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 10: U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein speaks during a news conference in Washington D.C. Tuesday, October 10, 2006. Rosenstein and Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty announced the formation of a National Procurement Fraud Task Force, an effort aimed at the detection, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with increased contracting activity for national security programs. (Photo by Carol T. Powers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 10: Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty, center, speaks during a news conference with Alice Fisher, head of the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, left, and U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, during a news conference in Washington D.C. Tuesday, October 10, 2006. McNulty announced the formation of a National Procurement Fraud Task Force, an effort aimed at the detection, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with increased contracting activity for national security programs. (Photo by Carol T. Powers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
SLUG: me/hornsby DATE: August 22, 2006 CREDIT: Ricky Carioti / TWP. United States Federal Courthouse in Greenbelt, Md. Federal prosecutors announce the indictment of former Prince George's County school superintendent Andre Hornsby. United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, center, flanked by Francis Turner, left, of the United States Department of the Treasury and Assistant United States Attorney Michael Pauze announce the 16-count indictment of former Prince George's County Schools Superintendent Andre Hornsby during a press conference at federal court in Greenbelt on Tuesday. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein talks about the sentencing of Thomas Bromwell Sr. and Mary Patricia Bromwell following their appearance in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, Friday, November 16, 2007. (Photo by Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images)
GREENBELT, MD JUNE 30:United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein talked with reporters after the Guilty plea of Prince Georges County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson the U.S. District Court on June 30, 2011 in Greenbelt, MD. To Rosenstein's left is Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeannine A. Hammett of the Internal Revenue Service and to his right is Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Photo by Mark Gail/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 24: Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, on Friday, October 24, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rosenstein said Carl Lackl was scheduled to be a witness to the Larry Haynes murder but was killed when Patrick Byers plotted his murder from his jail cell. (Photo by Michel du Cille/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The confirmation hearing for Rosenstein began with Republicans and Democrats squaring off over who should lead probes into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential contacts between Moscow and Trumps campaign team. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, swears in to a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The confirmation hearing for Rosenstein began with Republicans and Democrats squaring off over who should lead probes into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential contacts between Moscow and Trumps campaign team. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, sits during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The confirmation hearing for Rosenstein began with Republicans and Democrats squaring off over who should lead probes into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential contacts between Moscow and Trumps campaign team. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: Deputy U.S. Attorney General nominee Rod Rosenstein arrives before the Senate Judiciary Committee for testimony March 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. During the hearing, Democratic senators pressed Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor in an ongoing federal inquiry into Russian influence in the U.S. presidential election. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Rod Rosenstein, nominee to be Deputy Attorney General, arrives to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
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After Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Rosenstein took over supervision of the investigation. So far Mueller has issued indictments or received guilty pleas from 32 people, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump scheduled the meeting for Thursday, the same day that Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were teenagers, are set to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Two other women have leveled accusations against Kavanaugh but they are not scheduled to testify.

“I’m going to meet with [Rosenstein] tomorrow,” said Trump. “I may call Rod tonight or tomorrow and ask for a little bit of delay to the meeting because I don’t want to do anything that gets in the way that gets in the way of this very important Supreme Court pick. So I don’t want it competing and hurting the decision, one way or the other decision. Again, I want to hear what she has to say. I may delay that, I’m going to see. I don’t want to do anything that’s going to conflict with that but my preference would be to keep him and to let him finish up.”

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