Trump Says ‘Prefers’ To Keep Rosenstein In Job Overseeing Russia Probe

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The FINANCIAL — U.S. President Donald Trump, citing denials from his deputy attorney general that he once sought Trump’s removal from office, has said he is leaning toward keeping Rod Rosenstein in his job overseeing an investigation into Russian election activities.

 

Doubts over how long Rosenstein could keep his job have been swirling since The New York Times and other media reported last week that he once suggested secretly recording Trump to collect evidence for removing him from office under the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which specifies procedures for ousting presidents deemed unfit to remain in office, according to RFE/RL.

But Trump said Rosenstein denied the reports when they talked recently and offered assurances of his high regard for the president.

Trump’s statement came after days of speculation that he would fire Rosenstein over the news reports. Shortly after the Times report about Rosenstein came out on September 21, Trump decried what he called “a lingering stench” at the Justice Department and told supporters that “we’re going to get rid of that, too.”

Trump’s conciliatory remarks toward Rosenstein also contrast with his repeated blasts against him and Mueller on Twitter over the last year as they pursued an inquiry that Trump maintains is unjustified and amounts to a “witch hunt.”

Despite Trump’s frequent verbal attacks on the Russia investigation, Rosenstein has told Congress he does not intend to fire Mueller or otherwise interfere with the investigation, which has led to the indictment and conviction of several top former Trump advisers.

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Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have warned Trump against firing Rosenstein, and White House aides have been quoted anonymously as saying that they advised Trump against taking any “extreme actions” on the Russian investigation ahead of congressional elections in November that will determine whether his Republican Party retains control of Congress.

 

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