Trump to delay Rosenstein meeting until after Kavanaugh process

Trump to delay Rosenstein meeting until after Kavanaugh process
© Anna Moneymaker

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE said Tuesday that he would delay his meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinHeavy lapses in judgment are politicizing the justice system Top Judiciary Republican reviews less-redacted Mueller report Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' MORE until after Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process.

"I don't want to interrupt what's happening with Judge Kavanaugh,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn Tuesday afternoon.

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Trump also said he had spoken with Rosenstein, who The New York Times reported last month had discussed wearing a wire to record Trump as part of a possible effort to seek his removal from office under the 25th Amendment. Rosenstein has said the Times story was false.

Trump was originally supposed to meet with Rosenstein last week to discuss the Times story. The president delayed that meeting so as not to distract from confirmation proceedings of Kavanaugh, who faces allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Times report generated massive speculation last week that he could resign or be fired from his position, potentially roiling the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Rosenstein oversees special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe because of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump poised to roll back transgender health protections Trump claims Mueller didn't speak to those 'closest' to him And the winner of the Robert Mueller Sweepstakes is — Vladimir Putin MORE's recusal from Russian matters.

Trump signaled last week that he was inclined to keep Rosenstein on.

“Many people said I had the right to absolutely fire him. He said he did not say it. He said he does not believe that. And nobody in this room believes it, by the way,” Trump told reporters on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting in New York, adding that he would “prefer” to keep Rosenstein.

Speculation about Rosenstein’s fate has died down, as the allegations against Kavanaugh have gripped Washington. Last week, the Senate delayed a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation so that the FBI could probe allegations of sexual assault against him.

Trump has called for the investigation to be “comprehensive” but completed quickly. Republicans are eyeing a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination at week’s end.