Rosenstein jokes at DOJ conference: Tell Trump 'his favorite deputy attorney general was here'

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinMueller to testify publicly on July 17 Trump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch MORE made light on Wednesday of the tensions between himself and President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE at a Justice Department conference in Kansas City.

"You let the president know that his favorite deputy attorney general was here," Rosenstein joked, referring to Trump's scheduled appearance at the tail end of the three-day conference Friday, The Kansas City Star reports.

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In September, The New York Times published a bombshell report that Rosenstein had discussed the possibility of ousting Trump via the 25th Amendment and secretly taping conversations with the president.

Rosenstein has denied the report, but tensions have remained high between him and the president. 

Rosenstein also appointed special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats 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 to investigate alleged collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia's efforts in interference in the election.

Trump has lambasted Mueller and his probe repeatedly, calling it a "witch hunt."

The special counsel has indicted 33 people and three companies on a variety of charges and is expected to release his final report soon.

Last week, Trump retweeted an image of various people related to the probe, including Rosenstein, behind bars. 

Asked about the tweet in a Washington Post interview Trump said, "He should have never picked a Special Counsel."

He declined to answer a follow-up question regarding whether he intends to fire Rosenstein, which he has previously said he has no plans to do, despite criticizing him publicly in the past.

Rosenstein has joked about his tense relationship with the president on several occasions. 

"Some technology experts castigate colleagues who engage with law enforcement to address encryption and similar challenges," Rosenstein said in remarks regarding tech companies and law enforcement last Thursday. "Just because people are quick to criticize you does not mean that you are doing the wrong thing."

"Take it from me," he quipped.