If President Donald Trump values anything, it’s loyalty to President Donald Trump.
In a December meeting, Trump reportedly asked whether Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was “on my team,” several unnamed sources told CNN on Wednesday. Sound familiar? FBI Director James Comey testified that Trump asked him to pledge his loyalty as well.
At the time, Rosenstein reportedly was asking for Trump’s help in warding off document requests from the House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes relating to the Russia investigation. But Trump was more interested in trying to suss out the details of the investigation — and find out Rosenstein’s motivations.
“Of course, we're all on your team, Mr. President," Rosenstein responded, the sources told CNN.
Comey, however, declined Trump’s request. He was later fired.
Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, Rosenstein is overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Rosenstein is the only person with the authority to fire Mueller.
Later in December, lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee asked Rosenstein whether he’d spoken to the president about the Russia investigation. Rosenstein declined to say but did testify that he hadn’t received any improper orders from Trump and that he wouldn’t fire Mueller at the president’s request.
“An oath to the President of the United States, rather than the Constitution, would be inappropriate,” Rosenstein testified. “As long as you are following your oath of office, you can also be faithful to the administration,” he added.
Cover image: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein pauses while testifying before a House Committee on the Judiciary oversight hearing on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)