President Donald Trump said he would prefer to keep Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general, announcing he may delay a planned Thursday meeting about the Justice Department official’s future.
“He said he did not say it. He said he does not believe it,” Trump said of reported Rosenstein comments to colleagues last year about secretly recording Trump with the goal of removing him via the 25th Amendment.
“My preference would be keeping him,” Trump said, announcing he may delay the Rosenstein meeting so it does not conflict with a much-anticipated Senate hearing with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Ford Blasey.
When asked if he intends to fire Rosenstein during their coming face-to-face meeting, he said: “I would certainly prefer not doing that.” Democratic lawmakers and some legal experts have warned firing Rosenstein would kick start a “constitutional crisis” and amount to obstruction of justice by Trump.
Those warnings, if the president fires the Justice Department official who is overseeing the Russia election meddling probe, would become much more meaningful if Democrats take the House in November. They would then have the power to start impeachment proceedings.
Watch: Blumenthal: Trump Firing Rosenstein Would Be a “Break the Glass Moment”