Pompeo says he wouldn't resign as secretary of State if Trump fired Rosenstein

CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo to speak to influential Iowa GOP group Giuliani worked for Dominican Republic candidate amid Ukraine efforts: report Pompeo, foreign partners condemn Russian cyberattack on country of Georgia MORE said Thursday that he would not resign if he were secretary of State and President TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE fired Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinGraham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation DOJ won't charge former FBI Deputy Director McCabe Rosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts MORE to stymie the investigation into Russian election interference.

Pompeo, whom Trump has nominated to be the nation's top diplomat, was asked by Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe Graham warned Pentagon chief about consequences of Africa policy: report Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (D-Del.) if he would resign his position “in order to demonstrate that we are a nation of laws, not of men” if Rosenstein were fired.

ADVERTISEMENT

“My instincts tell me no,” Pompeo said. “My instincts tell me that my obligation is to continue to serve as America’s senior diplomat would be more important at increased times of political and domestic turmoil.” 

“We’ve seen this in America before, right? This wouldn’t be the first time that there’s been enormous political turmoil. My recollection of history is that previous secretaries of State stayed the course,” he continued.

Trump has reportedly been mulling whether to fire Rosenstein, who is overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s investigation into Russian interference.

Earlier this week, the FBI raided the office, home and hotel room of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in connection with the Mueller investigation. Rosenstein is said to have personally approved the search.

Trump assailed the Russia investigation following the events, calling it “fake and corrupt.”

“Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter). No Collusion, so they go crazy!” the president tweeted Wednesday

Pompeo said Thursday he is “confident” he would not resign his post if Trump moved to fire the deputy attorney general.

“Having not given it a great deal of thought, I’m confident that’s the path I would take,” Pompeo said.

“I would urge you to give it some thought,” Coons replied.