Trump, Deputy AG to meet on Thursday

Bill Maher jumps on Rosenstein story: 25th Amendement was written specifically for Trump

Now, President Donald Trump plans to meet with Rosenstein on Thursday to discuss the situation - and the deputy attorney general's fate remains uncertain.

The Rosenstein furor, kicked off by unconfirmed reports that he had verbally resigned, underscored the mounting tension in the White House over the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election.

Sekulow spoke amid reports that Rosenstein would resign or be fired Monday, and before Trump announced that he would be meeting his deputy attorney general on Thursday about his job status. Rosenstein appointed Mueller and oversees his investigation. He is still the deputy attorney general and is attending a "substantive meeting" in that capacity, the person was quoted as saying. Other reports said Rosenstein expected to be fired while NBC News reported Rosenstein said he would not resign and the White House would have to fire him.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the highest-ranking Senate confirmed official below Rosenstein in the Justice Department, would take control of the Mueller investigation. He angrily asked confidants, both inside and outside the White House, how to respond.

He dispatched his former bodyguard to fire FBI Director James Comey - though Comey was out of town. Some urged him to fire Rosenstein.

The meeting will be Thursday, said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The person said Rosenstein had expressed to others that he should resign because he "felt very compromised" and the controversy hurt his ability to oversee the Russian Federation inquiry, said a person close to Trump.

The New York Times and Washington Post reports were based on secret memos by a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director - which some speculated may have been leaked in order to undermine Mr Rosenstein, and in turn Mr Mueller's probe. Rosenstein denied the report as "inaccurate and factually incorrect".

Bill Maher jumps on Rosenstein story: 25th Amendement was written specifically for Trump

As deputy attorney general, Rosenstein has made two public announcements of indictments brought by the special counsel - one against Russians accused of hacking into Democratic email accounts, the other against Russians accused of running a social media troll farm to sway public opinion.

Shortly after the Times story, Trump told supporters at a rally in Missouri that there is "a lingering stench" at the Justice Department and that "we're going to get rid of that, too". But let me be clear about this: "Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment".

That second statement was issued after a tense meeting at the White House between Rosenstein and Kelly, according to people familiar with the encounter.

Rosenstein was summoned to the White House on Friday evening for a conversation with chief of staff Kelly after which he issued a denial meant to be even sharper in tone than the one the Justice Department sent out hours earlier.

There are no indications that leading Republicans have agreed to call Rosenstein to testify, and House Judiciary Committee Democrats said Monday that they had received no notice from panel Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., informing them of an official summons.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May of previous year after Sessions, who ordinarily would have overseen the investigation, recused himself because of his close involvement in the Trump campaign.

The White House used Rosenstein's memo to justify Comey's firing.




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