May 21, 2018

Trump reportedly asked Rosenstein if he was 'on my team'

04 February 2018, 01:16 | Rufus Hill

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the House Judiciary

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the House Judiciary

White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said there will be "no changes" at the Justice Department when asked about the potential firing of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during an appearance on CNN on February 2, 2018.

Ahead of his testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee, President Trump wanted to make sure he knew what team Rod Rosenstein was backing, CNN states in an exclusive report.

But other Republicans, including House Intelligence Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSchumer: Nunes intent on undermining "rule of law" with altered memo Schiff: Nunes gave Trump "secretly altered" version of memo Former GOP rep rips Nunes over memo: He's chair of Trump's reelection campaign MORE (R-Calif.), have defended the deputy attorney general following the memo's release.

Trump reportedly changed the topic of conversation to the status of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation.

Another source told CNN that Trump made suggestions to members of Congress regarding what they should ask Rosenstein during the hearing. Trump has fumed about the ongoing probe, declaring it a "witch hunt" concocted by Democrats to damage him politically. When reporters asked him point blank Friday in the Oval Office if he was going to fire Rosenstein, Trump responded cryptically: "You figure that one out". "The one question people should ask is why were Democrats so concerned about this coming out?" said Republican strategist Dave Carney.

About halfway through the four-page memo, Rosenstein's name is mentioned for the second and final time, as someone who worked "closely" with a Justice official whose wife worked for the same company that hired ex-British spy Michael Steele.

The Justice Department apparently disagrees with Trump's assessment of the Russian Federation probe. One official said the President blames Rosenstein for the current state of the Russian Federation probe and "is unlikely to ever get beyond it".

The letter to Trump was signed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat-California, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat-New York, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, Democrat-Illinois, and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Democrat-Maryland.

"I like him personally and I think he can fix the problems at DOJ".

"I personally like Rod Rosenstein, but the bottom line is Mr. Rosenstein, Attorney General Sessions and [FBI Director Chris A.] Wray have work to do", Nunes said.

Earlier on Friday, President Donald Trump refused to give a clear-cut answer on whether he was considering firing Rosenstein after Trump approved the declassification of a memo that alleges Federal Bureau of Investigation abuses its authority regarding Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants.

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