Deputy AG Rosenstein unhappy in White House ‘environment where facts aren’t accurately reported’: report
Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, was reportedly furious that the White House had tried to pin the blame on him for FBI director James Comey’s firing.
The deputy attorney general pressed White House counsel Don McGahn to set the record straight on Comey’s ouster and “left the impression that he couldn’t work in an environment where facts weren’t accurately reported,” reported The Wall Street Journal.
The White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, explained that Comey was fired on the recommendation of Rosenstein, who listed alleged misconduct by the former FBI director during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
However, Rosenstein never explicitly recommended Comey be fired in his letter to the president.
He met with McGahn on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after Pence claimed Rosentstein had called for Comey’s removal as FBI director.
Sources told various news outlets that Trump had decided to fire Comey and met with Pence and other senior officials to discuss the move before asking Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to provide written justification.
The White House began shifting its justification for Comey’s firing away from Rosenstein after his meeting with the White House counsel, and after he reportedly threatened to resign.
But the White House communications strategy imploded when the president boasted to NBC News’ Lester Holt that he had decided on his own to fire Comey, whom he described as a “showboat.”