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Mueller’s team has interviewed Deputy AG Rosenstein over Trump’s decision to fire Comey: report

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has interviewed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein regarding Donald Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Rosenstein was tapped to oversee the Department of Justice’s investigation into Russian meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the probe. Rosenstein is also the person who appointed Mueller to lead the special counsel after he penned a memo that detailed Comey’s failures in handling the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. That memo was then cited by Trump as a essential to his decision to fire Comey.

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Two days after referencing Rosenstein’s memo in his letter ousting Comey, Trump admitted he was considering the Russia probe when he opted to let the FBI director go.

“I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won,’” Trump told NBC News.

Mueller is investigating the circumstances surrounding that decision. According to the Journal, the special counsel likely does not view Rosenstein as a key witness in the investigation, as the deputy attorney general has not recused himself from that investigation, and Mueller still reports to him.

The interview occurred in June or July, sources told the Journal.

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“It is unusual,” former federal prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg told the Journal. “But my inference is that they are not viewing him as a potential critical witness, because either the testimony isn’t that critical or there are other people that can say the same thing.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump’s economic ‘brain trust’ ridiculed as America braces for a trade war recession: report

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President Donald Trump appears unprepared to deal with a potential recession, the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Facing a trade war against China that has shaken the global economy, President Donald Trump gathered his most trusted economic aides in the Oval Office," the AP reported. "The assembled brain trust for Friday’s urgent consultations included an economics chief best known for his stint as a cable TV commentator; a trade adviser whose pro-tariff views are outside the economic mainstream; and a treasury secretary (joining by phone on his way back from vacation) who made millions off the housing crisis and then turned to financing Hollywood movies."

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ICE and Homeland Security busted pushing right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories

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Donald Trump in Oval Office

Multiple federal departments have been pushing far-right propaganda to federal employees.

"An arm of the Justice Department regularly sent summaries and links to articles from an online white nationalist publication over the last year, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. In addition, similar newsletters sent to the Labor Department, ICE, HUD and the Department of Homeland Security, included links and content from hyperpartisan and conspiracy-oriented publishers," BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

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Trump claimed North Korea missile testing ‘would stop’ — but they just launched again: report

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The upcoming G7 summit meeting in Bairritz, France will have one more issue to grapple with after North Korea reportedly conducted missile tests.

"South Korea's military confirms that North Korea has launched a projectile this morning. From South Hamgyong Province. Japan's government reported it first," Voice of America Seoul bureau chief William Gallo Tweeted Friday.

"North Korea has now conducted nine rounds of launches since early May. But this one's notable because it comes after Trump says Kim promised "this testing would stop when the exercises end." They did end Tuesday. And yet..." he noted.

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