WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump met for 45 minutes on Monday with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on board Air Force One amid rumors that he would fire the latter, although the president said that he has no plans to do so.
“No I don’t, no,” Trump said on Monday when asked by a reporter whether he intended to fire Rosenstein, adding that “I get along well” with the DOJ No. 2.
After the president landed in Florida, Trump told reporters that his meeting with Rosenstein on the plane had gone “great.”
As the Department of Justice told EFE, Rosenstein is accompanying Trump on Monday on his trip to speak before the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Orlando, Florida, this being the first meeting between the pair since The New York Times on Sept. 21 published an article containing controversial alleged statements by the No. 2 US law enforcement official.
“We had a very good talk, I will say. That became a very big story, actually. We had a good talk,” Trump said during his speech to the IACP.
Trump told reporters upon his return to the White House that he and Rosenstein had had a “very nice talk” on board Air Force One.
“I’m not making any changes. You’d be the first to know,” Trump told the press when asked if he plans to fire the DOJ official, saying of Rosenstein that “We actually get along.”
The meeting comes more than two weeks after the New York daily said that Rosenstein in 2017 had suggested the possibility of secretly taping Trump and had even spoken about possibly invoking the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, the mechanism whereby a president may be removed from office due to inability to carry out his/her duties.
Rosenstein claimed that these reports were absolutely incorrect and even asked for a meeting with Trump that same week to discuss the situation, a get-together that did not occur at that time ostensibly due to the president’s schedule.
According to assorted local media outlets, during that confused day Rosenstein had drafted a letter of resignation.
Rosenstein’s tenure in office has been the subject of many rumors since May 2017, when he decided to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel to head the so-called Russia probe once Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey, who said that his dismissal came because he had not pledged his “loyalty” to the president.
Since that time, Rosenstein has been tasked with overseeing Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s presidential election campaign coordinated with the Kremlin to defeat Hillary Clinton for the presidency, and thus the DOJ official’s remaining in his post has been considered essential to ensure that the probe is carried through to completion.