President Donald Trump on Monday told reporters “No,” he does not plan to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, ahead of his 30-minute meeting with Rosenstein aboard Air Force One. Rosenstein accompanied the president on his flight to Orlando, Florida, where Trump was heading to speak before the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Rosenstein is overseeing the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
This was the first meeting between Trump and Rosenstein since allegations made in a September 21 article by The New York Times citing anonymous sources claiming Rosenstein made comments in 2017 suggesting “he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration” and “discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.” Rosenstein has denied the allegations.
“The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,” he said in a statement in September. “I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
In Trump’s speech to the IACP, he mentioned Rosenstein. “We had a very good talk, I will say. That became a very big story, actually. We had a good talk.”
On his way to board Air Force One on Monday, Trump said that he and Rosenstein “actually have a very good relationship… I didn’t know Rod before, but I got to know him and I get along very well with him.”
Despite having the public authority to fire Rosenstein, Trump is taking the high ground and keeping him on the investigation. This shows that he is not afraid of the investigation’s findings, and it takes away from Democrats’ talking points about obstruction of justice.
With the current status quo, President Trump’s investigators lack credibility, still have to respond to accusations against them, yet remain in a position to investigate President Trump, who maintains he will be 100 percent cleared. It’s a win-win for the president.