Trump Keeps Rosenstein Despite Reported Recording, Removal Talk

Frederick Owens
October 9, 2018

Emanuel, a former White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama who became mayor in 2011, said on September 4 he would not seek re-election next year.

Rosenstein had appeared close to being fired following USA media reports - which he denied - that he discussed secretly recording Trump and using the 25th constitutional amendment for removing presidents found to be unfit for office.

Trump told reporters at the White House that he had "a very good relationship" with Rosenstein and was eager to speak with him aboard Air Force One on a flight to Florida for the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference. It is not unusual for senior Justice Department officials to join Trump at such events.

"Gotta be properly applied, but stop-and-frisk works", Trump said.

At a news conference two days later, Trump declared: "My preference would be to keep him and to let him finish up".

In the fall of 2015, Emanuel contended during a closed-door meeting with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and 20 big-city mayors and police chiefs that police officers across the nation were becoming "fetal" because they're afraid their videotaped encounters with the public will end up on YouTube.

"I think we'll be treated very fairly", Trump said regarding the Russian Federation probe.

The meeting came after The New York Times published a story last month about Rosenstein's alleged plotting in the wake of James Comey's firing from the Federal Bureau of Investigation previous year. They postponed the meeting amid the Kavanaugh confirmation battle and speculation has abounded that Trump might fire Rosenstein.

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Trump faces mounting pressure from the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election.

"I didn't know Rod before, but I've gotten to know him", Trump said at the White House earlier.

Even so, Rosenstein told White House officials that he was willing to resign and arrived at the White House at one point with the expectation that he would be fired. He met in person with White House chief of staff John Kelly and spoke by phone with Trump during a tumultuous day that ended with him still in his job.

Rosenstein's visit to the White House on September 24 sparked a false alarm about the No. 2 Justice Department official being fired or resigning.

Trump also said reducing crime "begins with respecting law enforcement".

But even as Trump has chose to leave Rosenstein in place - for now - the matter of what Rosenstein said and proposed doing likely will remain a political issues heading into the homestretch of the midterms - and beyond.

The president mentioned Rosenstein during his speech, thanking him for traveling with him.

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