During his recent interview with The New York Times, President Donald Trump elaborated on the situation surrounding the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions from the investigations into Russian election interference, and his view of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who became the overseer of the probes.
Trump contended that he would not have nominated Sessions had he known that Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigations. Following Sessions’ recusal, Trump said he asked Sessions about his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, who was confirmed in April by a 94-6 vote in the senate.
‘”Who’s your deputy?'” Trump said he asked Sessions, and noted that Sessions “hardly knew” Rosenstein. And it turns out, Trump was not particularly a fan of the fact that Rosenstein hailed from the city of Baltimore.
“So his deputy he hardly knew, and that’s Rosenstein, Rod Rosenstein, who is from Baltimore,” Trump said, according to a transcript of the interview. “There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any. So, he’s from Baltimore.”
The New York Times claimed that the president was “irritated” when discussing that Rosenstein was from Baltimore.
Sessions’ recusal left Rosenstein to decide whether to oversee federal investigations into Russian interference, or appoint a special prosecutor. In May—one week after Trump dismissed former FBI Director James Comey—Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as the special counsel to lead the federal Russia investigations.
A memo in which Rosenstein outlined challenges with Comey was initially used as formal justification for Trump to terminate Comey, but Rosenstein later told members of Congress that he wrote the memo after learning that Comey would be dismissed.
After being nominated as the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, Rosenstein served in the post from 2005 to 2017.
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