Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein released a statement Thursday evening that has left some wondering what is happening at the Department of Justice.
“Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated,” the statement reads. “Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.”
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted the statement and noted that she has “literally never seen a statement like this.”
She was retweeting Jonathan Lemire, the White House reporter for the Associated Press, who noted it was “an odd statement – that feels consistent with the White House’s recent war on leaks.”
Even fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara attacked the message, saying, “Americans should also exercise caution before accepting as true lies about firing of FBI Director and defamation of a war hero special counsel.”
“Where is Rod Rosenstein’s overdue statement responding to the President’s repeated attacks on his appointment of Robert Mueller?” he continued.
Americans should also exercise caution before accepting as true lies about firing of FBI Director & defamation of a war hero special counsel pic.twitter.com/KQUPpppcAI
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 16, 2017
Where is Rod Rosenstein's overdue statement responding to the President's repeated attacks on his appointment of Robert Mueller? pic.twitter.com/y7dwtWTQ4G
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 16, 2017
The statement left the internet wondering if it was forced by President Donald Trump — or if the Justice Department was hacked. Others wondered if it meant that a tape is about to surface that shows Trump with the alleged Russian prostitutes that appeared in the previously reported British dossier.
See a selection below:
Have literally never seen a statement like this https://t.co/94zbnIqsVc
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) June 16, 2017
What an odd statement – that feels consistent with the White House's recent war on leaks pic.twitter.com/Ci1CZ3uE7I
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) June 16, 2017
Trump asking Rosenstein to say he's not under investigation?
— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) June 16, 2017
Pay close attention to that "identify the country" nugget in the statement. Lots of talk today that 5eyes about to release bad dirt on Trump
— Susan Keckler (@SusanKeckler) June 16, 2017
Something wicked this way comes…
— Shawn Jovi (@Simms2673) June 16, 2017
Pee pee tape coming from Puty cause sanctions passed Senate and 45 can't change them without Congress approval
— jimsisco (@jimsisco) June 16, 2017
Smells like a loyalty pledge
— Kasey Redus (@kaseyredus) June 16, 2017
This is preemptive. Get out your umbrellas, folks. It's pee-pee time. I. can't. wait. (Yuck)
— Ann Marie Mooney (@AnnMarieMooney2) June 16, 2017
What he's saying is "if you hear any accusations about me personally I categorically deny them."
— John Fixmer (@Darkhorse724) June 16, 2017
sorta like the anonymous sources that had proof the Obama was not an American and was a Muslim…
— Mary Catton (@MaryCatton) June 16, 2017
Oh, you mean like, "Many people are saying." ???
— The Wiz #DemForce (@Rabbit2426) June 16, 2017
Blink twice if you want Mueller to save you.
— Mike Donner (@mike_donner) June 16, 2017
Well, Pence just lawyered up & it just broke FBI probe looking at Kushner's finances & business dealings, so noose is tightening.
— Charina Russo (@sweetiebabes08) June 16, 2017
Nero be like: "at least I played the fiddle…"
— Sid (@nolikeychicken) June 16, 2017
I presume this also applies to the President's source attributions "they," as in "they made up a phony collusion with the Russians story."
— suzanz_ (@suzanz_) June 16, 2017
We need Fox Mulder.
— Kevin Troope (@troopek) June 16, 2017
— 🗽Texan American📎 (@lkjtexas) June 16, 2017
So is this the DOJ' s version of "don't @ me"?
— конец близок (@SNCCiMinaj) June 16, 2017
Keep your tin hat on and stay tuned for further developments.
— donna k blizzard (@donnadevol) June 16, 2017
"The story you're about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. So no names have been changed."#TrumpDragnet
— Don Sowell (@_Diamond_Jim_) June 16, 2017
This statement does not identify the country from which it originated, so I deny its authenticity
— Tom Cronin (@T_Cronin) June 16, 2017
Next time an anon source calls, say "Is that you again, Rosenstein?"
— Cynthia Conciatu (@CynthiaConciatu) June 16, 2017
Well I think we know who squeezed him to get that statement released. The thin-skinned one!
— Alison Berkowitz (@aliberk65) June 16, 2017
Must be a great document when all these smart people aren't sure what it means. WTF America?
— Citizen X7766 (@CitizenX7766) June 16, 2017
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain….
— Holy Smokes (@HolySmokes33) June 16, 2017
But is the "long established policy" in writing………
— Karen Anne Kulaga (@KKNY18) June 16, 2017
This is messed up, we're smart people who can do our own evaluations with sufficient information. This land is my land.
— Librarians Resist (@Info_Scientists) June 16, 2017
Frankly, a creepy statement. But I just finished the most recent episode of #TwinPeaks, so.
— William Luck (@wflii) June 16, 2017
Sounds like somethings in the wind, and this is a preemptive move to make us believe it's fake.
— BonJoni (@TheMilkIsPoison) June 16, 2017
We're not under-educated Trump zealots. We can think for ourselves thank you. We don't need a wanna-be dictator.
— Jennifer (@SeattleJen42) June 16, 2017