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Gowdy: Trump should not fire Rosenstein

Gowdy: Trump should not fire Rosenstein
© Moriah Ratner

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyRosenstein to appear for House interview next week House GOP sets deposition deadline for Fusion GPS co-founder Collusion bombshell: DNC lawyers met with FBI on Russia allegations before surveillance warrant MORE (R-S.C.) said in an interview broadcast Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE should not fire Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinConservative rep slams Rosenstein's 'conflicts of interest' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Trump, Obama head to swing states with Senate majority in balance Rosenstein to appear for House interview next week MORE, saying the deputy attorney general has had a “stellar career.”

"If the president makes any move to dismiss him — he failed to express confidence in him the other day — would that concern you?” Margaret Brennan asked Gowdy on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

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“It would,” said Gowdy, who announced his retirement last week. “Again, I'm not in the Senate. I don't have advice and consent. And the president has not sought my counsel on this.”

“But you don't think he should be fired based on what you've seen?” Brennan asked.

“I don’t,” Gowdy, a former prosecutor, said.

"I think it is fair to ask the deputy attorney general what did you know at the time you signed one of the applications. I think it is fair to ask what [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] reforms are you going to implement to make sure we don't have this fact pattern come up again," he added.

"I don't judge people based on a single decision that they make throughout the course of an otherwise really stellar career.”

Trump on Friday declined to say whether he would fire Rosenstein after the release of a controversial memo alleging surveillance abuses by FBI and Justice Department officials.

"You figure that one out," Trump said when asked by a reporter whether he planned to fire Rosenstein.

The memo, released Friday, accuses FBI and Department of Justice officials of misusing their authority to obtain a secret surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.

Rosenstein, according to the memo, signed off on at least one application to renew the surveillance warrant.

Rosenstein became the deputy attorney general last April. He took over responsibility for overseeing the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsBeto O'Rourke on impeachment: 'There is enough there to proceed' Rosenstein to appear for House interview next week Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure MORE recused himself from the matter.