Politics

White House: Rosenstein to Meet With Trump on Thursday

News reports had embattled DOJ deputy resigning, about to be fired, or resigning before he was fired

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had reportedly discussed using the 25th Amendment to oust President Donald Trump, according to a New York Times report last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will meet Thursday in Washington to discuss his future, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

“At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories. Because the President is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington, D.C.,” Sanders said. That could make Thursday quite a busy one, with the Senate Judiciary Committee set to hear from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman who has accused him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford. 

Watch: How and Why Many Key Officials Have Exited the Trump Administration

A series of conflicting news reports earlier Monday signaled Rosenstein was either on his way out, offered to resign or was standing firm in his position.

Axios reported Monday that Rosenstein told White House Chief of Staff John Kelly he was resigning and that he believed Trump was going to fire him.

But NBC reported late Monday morning that Rosenstein was headed to the White House to learn his fate. And the Washington Post reported that Rosenstein offered to resign.

Then Pete Williams, a veteran NBC correspondent covering the Justice Department and national security, reported that Rosenstein was standing firm and that Trump would have to fire him to get rid of him. 

It all played out Monday as Rosenstein headed to the White House for a meeting and after reports on Friday that Rosenstein had discussed wiretapping the president in an attempt to begin a conversation about removing him via the process laid out in the 25th Amendment. Even those news reports varied widely regarding whether Rosenstein was serious or being sarcastic, based on memos written by former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. 

Rosenstein has final authority over special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice by the president in that probe after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the matter last year.

Andrew McCabe, whom Trump fired over allegations he had leaked sensitive information to the media and lied about it, released a statement about the situation at the same time begging off any interview requests. 

“There is nothing more important to the integrity of law enforcement and the rule of law than protecting the investigation of Special Counsel Mueller. I sacrificed personally and professionally to help put the investigation on a proper course and subsequently made every effort to protect it. To be clear, I had no role in providing information of any kind to the media stories about events following Director Comey’s firing. If the rumors of Deputy AG’s Rosenstein’s departure are true, I am deeply concerned that it puts that investigation at risk.”

John T. Bennett, Todd Ruger, Griffin Connolly, Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report

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