WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Monday that he does not anticipate firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
“No, I don’t,” Trump said from the South Lawn when asked if he had planned to do so. “No.”
Rosenstein is traveling with Trump aboard Air Force One Monday en route to Orlando, Florida, for the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s annual convention.
Trump said the two will talk while on the plane, fulfilling a meeting initially scheduled for late September that was postponed to ensure that it didn’t distract from then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process.
Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley confirmed that the president and Rosenstein spoke for approximately 30 minutes while in flight.
Rosenstein still has a job after the meeting, Gidley said.
Last month, the New York Times reported that Rosenstein discussed taping Trump or invoking the 25th amendment — a constitutional maneuver to expel the president requiring the majority of the cabinet to declare him unfit for office — with former FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other officials.
In a statement released Friday soon after the article was published, the deputy attorney general said it was “inaccurate and factually incorrect.
“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,” Rosenstein said. “But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
The Washington Post reported shortly afterwards that a source privy to memos McCabe made said the comment on taping Trump may have been sarcastic.
The initial report prompted speculation that Rosenstein could be dismissed, a move that would carry additional weight since he is the sole Justice Department official overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Trump said Monday that he has a “good” relationship with Rosenstein.
During a press conference in New York City following the UN General Assembly’s annual session last month, Trump said that he “would certainly prefer” to keep Rosenstein in his current position.