Rosenstein Denies NYT Report: The Story Is ‘Inaccurate and Factually Incorrect’

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

The report in The New York Times said that in the aftermath of Trump's May 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey, Rosenstein suggested secretly recording conversations with Trump, and discussed recruiting cabinet members to remove him from office.

Among the participants was Andrew McCabe, the FBI official who was temporarily elevated to director after Comey's firing and who documented conversations with senior officials, including Rosenstein, in memos that have been provided to Mueller as part of his investigation.

The revelation that the No. 2 Justice Department official had even broached those ideas, sarcastically or not, creates greater uncertainty for Rosenstein's job status at a time when Trump has railed against law enforcement leadership as biased against him.

President Donald Trump issued an ominous warning about the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Friday, promising further firings to get rid of a "lingering stench" following reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed secretly recording the president. CBS News has also confirmed that McCabe claims in his memos that Rosenstein discussed possibly trying to invoke the 25th Amendment, but others in that meeting don't recall this reference.

They pointed to the Justice Department's statement suggested that Rosenstein was joking and noted that the deputy attorney general himself denied the report.

"But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment", Rosenstein said.

Coming on the heels of an explosive book by respected White House chronicler Bob Woodward, the reports added to mounting evidence indicating that numerous people in Trump's own government have serious doubts about his fitness for office - and have actively worked to undermine him.

Rosenstein disputed the Times account of the comments, which it reported he made just weeks after becoming deputy attorney general and being caught up in the uproar over Trump's dismissal of FBI Director James Comey. "He has no knowledge of how any member of the media obtained those memos". And perhaps most importantly, we don't know what it could portend for a president who has seemed anxious to get rid of the people in charge of the Russian Federation investigation, including Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Trump has repeatedly slammed the Mueller probe as a "hoax" and a "witch hunt" because of the investigation's questionable premise.

Trump also trashed the "Democrat party", saying he chooses the name over "Democratic Party" because "why should I make it sound so sweet?"

A source who heard Rosenstein's remarks tells CNN that the deputy attorney general was being sarcastic.

"Spent very little time with Andrew McCabe, but he never took notes when he was with me", Trump tweeted.

Also at the rally, Trump continued to back his problematic Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh.

"Just look at what is now being exposed in the Department of Justice and the FBI", Trump told the Missouri crowd.

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