U.S. President Donald Trump waves to members of the media on Monday before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. Trump told reporters that he had no plans to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
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President Donald Trump told reporters on Monday that he had no intention of firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. After saying this, he flew with Rosenstein on Air Force One and said that the two had a “good talk.”
Rosenstein took over the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia after Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had been involved with the campaign, recused himself.
Rosenstein flew with Trump to a conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Florida. Before taking off, Trump told reporters:
We're going to be talking. We'll be talking on the plane. I actually have a good relationship other than there's been no collusion folks, no collusion. And — but I have a very good relationship. We'll see.
Asked if he planned to fire Rosenstein, he said simply, “No, I don't.”
After the flight, Trump described his conversation with Rosenstein to reporters as “great.”
At his speech during the conference, Trump said:
Thank you as well to our Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for being here. We flew down together. The press wants to know, “What did you talk about?” But we had a very good talk, I will say.
This is a change from Sept. 21, when Trump implied that he would fire Rosenstein after a New York Times report that claimed Rosenstein had said he would consider using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
“Just look at what is now being exposed in the Department of Justice and the FBI,” Trump had said at a rally, “look at what’s going on.” He speculated that “95 percent” of people at the department were “great people” although he added “but you got some real bad ones!”
Later, still speaking of the Justice Department, he added “there’s a lingering stench, and we’re going to get rid of that too.”
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