President Trump met aboard Air Force One with Rod Rosenstein on Monday, for a long-awaited sit-down in the wake of last month’s bombshell report that the deputy attorney general suggested wearing a wire to secretly record the president and even invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
Trump and Rosenstein met for a half-hour, according to the White House, en route to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla.
Their meeting had been repeatedly delayed amid the chaotic Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process. But White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters the president talked to Rosenstein for “roughly 30 minutes” -- and confirmed that “yes,” Rosenstein still has his job in the administration.
On the tarmac in Orlando, Trump said the conversation with Rosenstein was “great!”
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 FBI last year.
Sources told Fox News that the meeting where Rosenstein allegedly made the comments about wearing a “wire” took place at the Justice Department on May 16, 2017. Several people were in the room, including former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI counsel Lisa Page. Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed the next day. The details in the Times article were confirmed by sources who were briefed on the discussions and memos written about the discussions by McCabe and others.
When the Times report broke, Rosenstein adamantly denied the claims, saying: “I never pursued or authorized recording the president, and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the president is absolutely false."
Trump was initially slated to meet with Rosenstein during the last week of September, but the meeting was delayed amid the Kavanaugh battle. Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Saturday.
The Times report, though, fueled speculation over whether Trump would fire Rosenstein, but the president signaled at a press conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last month that his “preference would be to keep him, to let him finish up” the Russia investigation.
Rosenstein oversees Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election.
Rosenstein is also slated to meet with House Republicans later this month.
Last month, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., subpoenaed the memos and materials belonging to McCabe as part of their ongoing joint investigation into decisions “made and not made” by the Justice Department and the FBI during the 2016 election.