Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

President Trump speaks at International Association of Chiefs of Police convention

President Trump speaks at International Association of Chiefs of Police convention

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.

Trump and Rosenstein spoke the week after the report came out and had planned to meet to discuss the issue further but that meeting was postponed, the White House said at the time.

"No I don't, no", Trump told reporters on Monday morning when asked if he had plans to fire the No 2 justice department official, adding that he has a "very good relationship" with Rosenstein.

"I didn't know Rod before, but I got to know him and I get along very well with him", Trump said.

"We had a good talk", Trump said. It was the most extensive known meeting between the two since the New York Times report.

Rosenstein is overseeing the probe, which is being led by special counsel and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller.

Trump also indicated that he was ready to keep working with Rosenstein.

Rosenstein and Trump delayed a planned September 27 one-on-one meeting until Monday to allow Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's contentious confirmation process to play out.

Rosenstein has denied the September 21 New York Times report as "inaccurate and factually incorrect".

Special counsel Robert Mueller's work been overseen by Rosenstein since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.

"No, I don't. No", Trump replied. First Lady Melania Trump will not attend, with her office citing a long-standing prior commitment.

White House officials have told The Post that Trump is unlikely to fire Rosenstein before the midterm elections in November.

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.

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 Russian Federation investigation.

Other Trump allies in the House are even saying the matter could warrant Congress doing what the president opted against this week. Don't hit their head, I said, 'You can take the hand away, OK?' " he added.

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