Trump Makes Rod Rosenstein An Offer He Can't Refuse
the day of his daughter's wedding just another endless day in an endless year, Team Trump will try to break all the laws and stay out of jail, while Team Wonkette will try to cover the endless avalanche of news and not die! Get your PEANUTS! POPCORN! XANAX!
Yesterday, CNN broke news of Trump asking Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein in December if he was "on my team." Kinda like him asking James Comey for a loyalty pledge and demanding to know whether Andy McCabe voted for him or Hillary. Just your regular Godfather stuff from a president who thinks the entire executive branch is his personal goon squad. Remember back in June when Paul Ryan shrugged off Trump's interference in the Justice Department because, "He’s just new to this"? LULZ!
Trump asked Rosenstein, who supervises Mueller, how the Special Counsel's investigation was going and whether it would be wrapping up soon. As one does, when one's own family is the subject of the goddamn investigation.
At the December meeting, the deputy attorney general appeared surprised by the President's questions, the sources said. He demurred on the direction of the Russia investigation, which Rosenstein has ultimate authority over now that his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has recused himself. And he responded awkwardly to the President's "team" request, the sources said.
"Of course, we're all on your team, Mr. President," Rosenstein told Trump, the sources said. It is not clear what Trump meant or how Rosenstein interpreted the comment.
Not exactly a profile in courage, although we tend to agree with Ben Wittes that Rosenstein, with all his flaws, is the only bulwark against whatever lackey Trump would put in his place to murder the Russia investigation dead.
And then it got weirder. Apparently miffed at the deputy AG's failure to swear a blood oath of loyalty, Trump tried to sandbag Rosenstein's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee by supplying his Republican buddies with questions designed to embarrass him.
One line of inquiry Trump proposed lawmakers ask about was whether Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election because Mueller was not selected as FBI director. CNN has reported that Trump has been venting to his aides about Rosenstein in recent weeks and even raised the possibility of his removal. Sources say Trump believes Rosenstein was upset Mueller wasn't selected as FBI director and responded by making him special counsel.
Ummmmm ... WHUT? First President Bigbrain makes Rosenstein shred his reputation by drafting that stupid memo saying that Comey had to go for being mean to Hillary Clinton. Then he admits to Lester Holt that it was because of "this Russia thing," setting fire to whatever remained of Rosenstein's professional credibility. But in Trump's mind, Rosenstein was super pissed that Mueller didn't get hired at FBI, and the whole Special Counsel appointment was just an elaborate plot to get back at him for a personnel decision.
Oh, and why was Rosenstein at the White House that day? He wanted Trump's help to fend off Devin Nunes's efforts to get at internal FBI and DOJ documents. Because Rosenstein and Wray are IRL lawmen who didn't want to compromise ongoing investigations and burn their sources by handing everything over to a pack of treasonous political hyenas. Nunes was on a mission to prove there is NO RUSSIA, only #BIASSSS at the FBI. Also, too, RIGGED and DOSSIER and URANIUM ONE. So naturally Trump told Rosenstein to take a hike with his sissyboy whining about national security and protecting classified data. And that, boys and girls, is how we wound up with today's Nunes Memo Shitshow.
UN. FUCKING. REAL.
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.