Rosenstein calls Whitaker 'superb' choice for acting AG: report

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon MORE reportedly offered strong praise for the new interim head of the Justice Department on Friday, calling acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker a "superb" choice to take the reins from Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump to kick off bid for second term in Florida The Hill's Morning Report - Trump to kick off bid for second term in Florida Sarah Sanders to leave White House MORE.

ABC News reports that Rosenstein commented on the transition at a swearing-in ceremony for U.S. Attorney Zach Terwilliger on Friday, calling Whitaker a "superb choice for attorney general" who "certainly understands the work, understands the priorities of the department.”

When asked about the future of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian election interference, Rosenstein reportedly declined to answer questions and walked away.

Whitaker assumed the position of acting attorney general upon Sessions's ouster Wednesday from the Department of Justice (DOJ) a day after Democrats took control of the House in Tuesday's midterm elections.

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Sessions, a frequent target of criticism and insults from President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE had been rumored to be planning an exit from DOJ for months, but the timing of Wednesday's announcement caught many in Washington off-guard.

His replacement has come under scrutiny for his past comments about Mueller's probe, as well as his stance on the judiciary and the Supreme Court.

Trump defended his selection earlier Friday while also claiming not to know Whitaker personally, despite having referred to him in the past as a "great guy."

"I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it. I don't know Matt Whitaker," Trump told reporters at the White House before heading to France.