Amid reports that Rod Rosenstein will resign, the White House said President Trump is scheduled to meet with the deputy attorney general Thursday.
Axios reported Monday, citing two sources familiar with the matter, that Rosenstein, who was at the White House Monday for a previously scheduled meeting, expects to be fired in response to a story claiming last year he suggested wearing a wire against Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
However, the White House issued a brief statement Monday saying Rosenstein and Trump will meet Thursday, Fox News reported.
“At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
“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.”
Axios reported, according to sources with direct knowledge, that Rosenstein has verbally resigned to Chief of Staff John Kelly, according to sources with direct knowledge.
Rosenstein was given authority regarding the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, due to his role in the Trump campaign. He appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel and oversees the investigation, which Trump repeatedly has called a “witch hunt.”
The New York Times reported Friday that memos written by former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe showed Rosenstein in spring 2017 suggested secretly recording Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to remove him from office.
Rosenstein issued an immediate statement denying the allegations.
“I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false,” he said.
A person who was in the room when Rosenstein mentioned secret recordings said the deputy AG was clearly sarcastic.
Rosenstein has been a target of Trump’s complaints about the Russia investigation. Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel and oversees the Mueller probe.
The Wall Street Journal reported, however, that the relationship between Rosenstein and the president had improved. Rosenstein has regularly visited, and Trump last month described his rapport with Rosenstein as “fantastic.”
More to come …