When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with President Trump in December, days before his planned testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee, the president asked Rosenstein if he was “on my team, CNN reported.
Rosenstein, who seemed to have been taken aback by the question, responded, “We’re all on your team, Mr. President.”
Trump’s inquiry resembled a similar line of questioning he presented to former FBI director James Comey, who was also asked to pledge his loyalty to Trump. If understood as inquiring whether Rosenstein would support Trump in the Russian interference investigation, this exchange could be added to a list of alleged attempts by the president to obstruct justice.
Trump, according to the CNN report, was simultaneously giving advice to members of Congress about how to grill Rosenstein in the hearing. He suggested they confront him with questions regarding his decision to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel investigating Russian election interference, and to ask if Rosenstein did so because he was angry at Trump for not choosing Mueller to serve as FBI director.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Trump Asked If Rosenstein Is ‘On His Team’