President Trump said Wednesday he’d “certainly prefer not” to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and is considering delaying their scheduled Thursday meeting in Washington, D.C.
Speaking at a rare news conference in New York, Trump said he may push back the highly-anticipated meeting with the Justice Department’s second-in-command. That meeting was scheduled after following The New York Times reported that Rosenstein allegedly suggested wearing a “wire” while with Trump,.
Rosenstein reportedly also suggested invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office last year.
“I’m talking to [Rosenstein], we’ve had a good talk,” Trump told reporters. “He said he never said it. He said he doesn’t believe it. He said he has a lot of respect for me. He’s very nice, and we’ll see.”
One media report on Monday indicated the embattled official had already quit as the No. 2 Justice official, while sources told Fox News and other outlets Rosenstein was headed to the White House expecting to be fired.
The White House later announced Rosenstein would meet with Trump on Thursday, when he returned home from the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
On Wednesday, Trump said he might postpone the meeting because he’s focused on the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, also to be held on Thursday, with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who accused him of sexual assault.
“I don’t want to do anything that gets in the way of this very important Supreme Court pick,” Trump said. “I don’t want to do anything that’s going to conflict with that.”
Trump, referencing Rosenstein’s authority overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, said his “preference would be to keep him, to let him finish up.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.