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. “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.”
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 former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Trump scheduled the meeting for Thursday, the same day that Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has 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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