White House distances Trump from inaugural committee amid new scrutiny
Trump telling advisers he's open to keeping Rosenstein: report
The Wall Street Journal, citing people close to the president with knowledge of the situation, reported Tuesday that Trump is "conflicted" about the possibility of firing the No. 2 Department of Justice official.
Trump is slated to meet with Rosenstein at the White House on Thursday, after the president returns from a series of meetings at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The meeting comes a week after The New York Times reported that Rosenstein had discussed secretly recording the president in the Oval Office and had discussed the possibility of the Cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Rosenstein blasted the report as inaccurate.
"The president is genuinely conflicted," one person who has reportedly talked to Trump about the matter told the Journal. "He's got an open mind about whether Rod really tried to orchestrate this."
"We're ready for any and all possibilities," one White House official added to the newspaper of Thursday's planned meeting between Trump and Rosenstein.
The Journal reports that friends who have spoken to the deputy attorney general said he gave no indication he intends to resign at the meeting.
Trump, meanwhile, has been counseled by aides in the hours since announcing the meeting that Rosenstein is "cut from a different cloth" than former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the Journal reported.
Rosenstein issued a statement denying the Times report last week, calling it "factually incorrect" and stating that he does not believe there is any basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows a president's Cabinet to declare them unfit for office by a majority vote.
"The New York Times's story is inaccurate and factually incorrect," Rosenstein said. "[L]et me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment."
Trump on Monday left open the possibility of firing Rosenstein, telling reporters that he would need to learn the facts of the matter before making a decision.
"I haven't gotten all the facts, but certainly it's being looked at in terms of what took place," Trump said. "If anything took place and I'll make a determination sometime later, but I don't have the facts."