President Trump says his relationship with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is “fantastic” and “great,” leading the Wall Street Journal to suggest that the number two official at the Justice Department may have more “staying power” than suspected.
Rumors have swirled for months that Rosenstein would be fired by Trump. In fact, back in April, the Washington Post reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the White House he would consider quitting if the president fired his deputy.
It’s fantastic…We have a great relationship. Make sure you tell them that
However, according to a Wednesday WSJ article, when a Trump spokesman told the president the newspaper was looking for comment on his relationship with Rosenstein, he replied, “It’s fantastic…We have a great relationship. Make sure you tell them that.”
The news comes just days after conservative House Republicans filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, who was charged with “high crimes and misdemeanors” for withholding vital information relating to Carter Page from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). House Republicans, like Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), say they have been stonewalled by the Department of Justice under Rosenstein’s leadership.
According to the WSJ, Trump and Rosenstein now talk frequently:
“The two men talk once or twice a week, and Mr. Trump calls Mr. Rosenstein on his cell phone to discuss such issues as immigration, according to one person familiar with the matter. Mr. Rosenstein consistently prepares the president’s team ahead of major news, officials said. And he visits the White House as often as three times a week, meeting with the president or White House chief of staff John Kelly. He also has a regular lunch with White House general counsel Don McGahn.”
A DOJ spokeswoman told the newspaper that Rosenstein has a “productive working relationship” with the president.
WSJ sources say that President Trump rarely speaks directly to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and that during cabinet meetings, staffers place Sessions’ seat “out of the President’s line of sight.”
“He feels like Sessions was the one he made AG knowing all these things could happen, and then he recused himself, a senior administration official told the Wall Street Journal. “He sees that as the catalyst for all these things happening, less than Rosenstein.”