President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that he does not plan to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, despite weeks of rumors indicating Rosenstein was likely facing his final weeks at the Department of Justice.
Trump was asked during a short presser before getting on Marine One whether he intended to dismiss Rosenstein during a trip the pair was scheduled to take together to Florida Monday afternoon.
“No, I don’t,” he answered.
Instead, Trump said, he was "looking forward" to having a lengthy discussion with Rosenstein, the first since a New York Times piece appeared accusing Rosenstein of instructing DOJ employees to record any conversations they had with the president, and suggesting that Rosenstein had been discussing Trump's fitness for office with members of the president's Cabinet.
“Looking forward to being with him,” Trump added. “We’ll be talking on the plane. I have a good relationship other than there’s been no collusion.”
Rosenstein flatly denied the Times' allegations and accused the Times of relying on a single anonymous source. NBC News reported later that other DOJ employees thought Rosenstein's comments about taping the president were "sarcastic." The White House summoned Rosenstein for a meeting last week, and Rosenstein reportedly anticipated being fired. He was not.
He was not on Monday, either. When asked, upon disembarking Air Force One in Florida, Trump was asked how his discussion with Rosenstein went and the president simply replied, "great."
The White House added in a statement later that "The President and Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, met for about 45 minutes aboard Air Force One. They discussed various topics including the International Chiefs of Police event later today, support for our great law enforcement officials, border security, how to better address violent crime in Chicago, and general DOJ business."