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Trump’s media allies are warning him not to fire Rod Rosenstein after bombshell report

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Trump Tirade
President
Donald Trump reacts as he speaks to reporters aboard Air Force
One.


Kevin
Lamarque/Reuters



  • President Donald Trump’s allies in the media are
    divided on how to defuse a bombshell report from The New York
    Times.
  • According to sources in the report published on Friday,
    deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein floated the idea of
    invoking the 25th Amendment to discharge President Donald
    Trump, and allegedly suggested wearing a wire to secretly
    record conversations with the president.
  • While some conservative personalities called for
    Rosenstein’s immediate ouster, others expressed caution and
    warned Trump not to fire the deputy attorney general.
  • One Fox News opinion host suggested The Times’s report
    was a trap intended to get Trump to fire Rosenstein in a fit of
    pique, which, according to the host, could give lawmakers new
    reasons to try to impeach him.

President Donald Trump’s allies in the media are divided on how
to defuse the
bombshell report
in which deputy attorney general Rod
Rosenstein allegedly floated the idea of invoking the
25th Amendment
to evict President Donald Trump from the White
House, and allegedly suggested wearing a wire to secretly record
conversations with the president.

Rosenstein’s alleged comments, which
some sources
claim was said in jest, were reportedly made
days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. The
comments were recounted by sources who were briefed on either
Rosenstein’s meetings and conversations, or on the
contemporaneous memos written by former FBI officials, including
then-acting FBI director Andrew McCabe.

The revelation was first reported by The New York Times on
Friday.

But the report, which Rosenstein described as “inaccurate and
factually incorrect,” still shook Trump’s closest allies.

Conservative media personalities weighed in on TV and put forth
their theories about who leaked details of the memo. While some
conservatives
called for Rosenstein’s immediate ouster
, others warned Trump
to be cautious.


Sean Hannity
Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Mike Segar/Reuters

“I have a message for the president tonight,” Fox News opinion
host Sean Hannity said Friday night. “Under zero circumstances
should the president fire anybody.”

Hannity suggested “deep-state” actors within the Justice
Department were tempting Trump to impulsively fire Rosenstein,
who is overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Firing Rosenstein could have grave implications for Trump, who is
already under scrutiny for possibly obstructing justice by firing
Comey.

“These actors tonight … they are hoping and praying that the
president does just that,” Hannity said. “They’re hoping he gets
mad, that he gets sick and tired of it, and that they can turn
this politically into their equivalent of a Friday Night
Massacre. The president needs to know it is all a setup.”


Andrew McCabe
Former FBI deputy director Andrew
McCabe.

Alex Wong/Getty
Images


Tucker Carlson, another opinion host on Fox News, also suggested
The Times’s report was a trap and floated the idea that McCabe,

who was fired by Trump 26 hours before his official
retirement
, leaked the memos since he “has every incentive to
want to see the president impeached.”

McCabe would “do that knowing that the story might cause the
president to fire Rod Rosenstein,” and give probably cause for
Democrats to file impeachment proceedings, Carlson said on his
show.

McCabe, through his attorney, said he “has no knowledge of how
any member of the media obtained those memos.”

Carlson also noted that the report would inevitably “drive the
president crazy,” and cause internal division within the White
House.

“If you were laying a trap for Donald Trump, this might be
exactly how you’d do it,” Carlson warned. “Before moving forward,
the president might ask himself, ‘why do [Andrew] McCabe and the
New York Times want me to fire Rod Rosenstein? And why do they
want me to do it now, rather than a year ago?'”

“When your enemies give you political advice, it’s worth asking
questions like that,” Carlson added.

But other conservatives, such as Fox News opinion host Laura
Ingraham, advised Trump to take the scorched Earth approach on
the Justice Department, a bureaucracy he described this week as
being inflicted by “a cancer.”

“The president, tonight, should seriously consider whether Rod
Rosenstein should remain on the job,” Ingraham said. “The White
House should be devoting every resource it can to determining the
veracity of this report.”

“We just cannot have this plotting at the highest levels of the
Justice Department against the chief executive of this executive
branch,” she added.


rosenstein
Deputy
attorney general Rod Rosenstein.

Andrew Harnik/AP

Trump previously threatened to “get involved” after the
conservative House Freedom Caucus drafted articles of impeachment
against Rosenstein
for slow-walking the release documents on
Justice Department employees. But he has reportedly warmed up to
Rosenstein as recently as August, after having held phone calls
and meetings with him several times a week.

“It’s fantastic,” Trump said, referring to his relationship with
Rosenstein, in a
Wall Street Journal report
. “We have a great relationship.”

But the latest report on Rosenstein comes amid another chaotic
moment in the White House, which could arouse suspicion and drive
a wedge between whatever relationship Trump and the deputy
attorney general may have.

The report also comes on the heels of Washington Post journalist
Bob Woodward’s tell-all book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,”
and the publishing of an anonymous New York Times op-ed that
shines an unflattering light on Trump’s
presidency.

Despite The Times’s report, Trump did not overtly telegraph his
intentions during a campaign speech at a rally in Missouri on
Friday night. He gave a qualified appraisal of the Justice
Department in his speech but took a moment to snipe at what he
called “some real bad” FBI employees.

“We have great people in the Department of Justice. We have great
people,” Trump said. “These are people, I really believe, you
take a poll, I gotta be at 95%.”

“But you got some real bad ones,” he added. “You’ve seen what’s
happened at the FBI. They’re all gone. They’re all gone. They’re
all gone. But there’s a lingering stench and we’re going to get
rid of that too.”

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