Trump says won't fire embattled Russia probe official
Rod Rosenstein had appeared close to being fired following US media reports, which he denied, that he discussed secretly recording Donald Trump.
WASHINGTON - Donald Trump said Monday he does not plan to fire the deputy attorney general in charge of an explosive probe into alleged collusion between the president and the Kremlin.
"No I don't, no," Trump responded to a question from journalists at the White House about whether he plans to sack Rod Rosenstein.
Rosenstein had appeared close to being fired following US 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, who had delayed a previously announced White House meeting in which expectations were high that Rosenstein would depart, said they were going to talk Monday during a trip to Florida.
Trump also indicated that he was ready to keep working with Rosenstein.
"We're going to be talking. We'll be talking on the plane. I actually have a good relationship," he said.
Trump used the occasion to repeat his insistence that "there's been no collusion, folks, no collusion" with Russia.
The Republican real estate billionaire is infuriated by what he says is Special Counsel Robert Mueller's "witch hunt" into whether Moscow conspired with his campaign in the shock 2016 election win.
Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller, has so far been steadfast in trying to protect the investigation as it digs ever deeper into Trump's inner circle.
So Rosenstein's departure, possibly putting someone more pliable in his place, would set off alarm bells over the future independence of a probe which has the potential to rock the entire presidency.