Update: Rosenstein has not been fired and has not resigned. A statement from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that President Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will meet on Thursday.
Statement on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein: pic.twitter.com/yBgAydv9oR
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) September 24, 2018
Original article below.
On Monday morning, it was reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had resigned, effective immediately, according to several media outlets. However, NBC is now reporting that Rosenstein is instead refusing to step down.
NEW: @PeteWilliamsNBC reports that Rosenstein has said if Trump wants him gone, they'll have to fire him, and that Rosenstein will refuse to resign and go quietly.
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) September 24, 2018
7. Axios, Bloomberg, and CNN are saying Rosenstein verbally resigned to John Kelly in anticipation of being fired. NBC says Rosenstein has told people of the president wants him gone, he’ll have to fire him.
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) September 24, 2018
The initial report claiming Rosenstein had resigned appeared in Axios, which reported, “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has verbally resigned to Chief of Staff John Kelly in anticipation of being fired by President Trump, according to a source with direct knowledge.”
A few days ago, reports surfaced — in what appeared to be an orchestrated media leak campaign — that Rosenstein had floated the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment and wearing a recording device while he was around President Trump. However, according to quotes attributed to Rosenstein, the departing deputy attorney general appeared to be sarcastic, not serious, about his intention to “wire the president.”
Andrew McCabe was suggesting that DOJ investigate the president, per @mattzap & @DevlinBarrett reporting. “What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?” Rosenstein responded. https://t.co/WqXCof3QZ2
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) September 21, 2018
Nonetheless, Rosenstein as deputy attorney general has acted as a thorn in the side of the president’s mandate for the entirety of his tenure.
Today's (timely) column: Rod Rosenstein's Resistance – https://t.co/0E5tlbDXn4
— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) September 24, 2018
Over the course of the past two years, Rosenstein has taken a lot of heat from the president’s supporters for his consistent enabling of the Robert Mueller special counsel probe into Russian interference, which has yet to find any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
He also signed off on controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications to extend surveillance on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, who, without firm evidence, was accused of being a Russian spy. Later, it became apparent that the warrants against Page amounted to extreme overreach on the part of the federal government. Rosenstein defended his decision to sign off on the surveillance warrant by stating that he may not have read the whole application before signing off on it.
In an interview with Geraldo Rivera this morning, President Trump said he would investigate all of the facts before making a decision about Rosenstein’s future.
Trump to Geraldo on whether he'll fire Rosenstein: "I don't want to comment on it. I don't want to comment on it until I get all the facts. … But certainly it's being looked at in terms of what took place, if anything took place, and I'll make a determination sometime later."
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) September 24, 2018
If Rosenstein steps down, Solicitor General Noel Francisco would step in as interim deputy attorney general while the Trump administration searches for a replacement for Rosenstein.