Rod Rosenstein survived the weekend as deputy attorney general, but the White House hasn’t offered any assurances that he won’t be forced out by President Donald Trump.
Bloomberg News reporter Shannon Pettypiece told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that her White House sources have no idea whether Trump intends to fire Rosenstein, who’s overseeing the special counsel investigation, although the deputy attorney general has said he expects to be removed.
“People really say they don’t know, and that’s different than saying he’s safe,” Pettypiece said.
Trump is furious at Rosenstein, and Pettypiece said he has few defenders outside the Justice Department against attacks by the president and congressional Republicans.
“There’s no one saying he’s doing a good job, he’s a good man, he’s the best person in this position,” Pettypiece said. “So he doesn’t have that many allies right now, so I think that puts him at risk. When other people have gotten fired, I feel like I see if they don’t have protectors, you know, that’s when you see them on the way out. If they do have protectors, like Scott Pruitt, they seem to last longer and can weather a storm.”
Pettypiece said she’s surprised by the lack of reaction to former FBI director James Comey’s book and new legal difficulties Trump faces in the special counsel probe.
“It’s been eerily quiet here this morning,” she said. “I’ve tried to check in with some people and find out what’s going on, I haven’t heard back from anyone.”
The president tweeted an attack on Comey and his former deputy Andrew McCabe, but Pettypiece and co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed Trump may not have written it himself.
“I’ll question some of my sources on whether or not he actually wrote that tweet that was just sent out because the language and grammar seems to be a bit different than some of the ones he tweets,” Pettypiece said. “I know he doesn’t always write his own tweets.”
The reporter said that Trump was consumed with anger last week over the FBI raid on his attorney, Michael Cohen, and his aides were unable to get the president to focus on anything else.
“He was incredibly angry still about this Michael Cohen raid, as angry as some people had seen him,” Pettypiece said. “His advisors had been telling him him to focus on Syria, he was in meetings nonstop on Syria, this week they have him focusing on Japan, trying to get his attention away from taking some sort of action at DOJ that his advisers think he could regret.”