U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, headed to the White House on Monday amid reports he has offered to resign in anticipation of being fired by President Donald Trump, media reports said.
Rosenstein, the No. 2 Justice Department official, verbally resigned to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Axios reported, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the matter.
A second source told Axios that Rosenstein is “expecting to be fired” so he plans to step down.
NBC News reported that Rosenstein said he would not resign and the White House would have to fire him.
Trump faces mounting pressure from the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.
Rosenstein assumed supervision of the probe after his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, recused himself because of his own contacts with Russia’s ambassador to Washington while serving as a Trump campaign adviser became public.
There was widespread speculation that Trump would fire Rosenstein after a New York Times report on Friday said in 2017 he had suggested secretly recording Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke a constitutional amendment to remove him from the office.
The Times said none of those proposals came to fruition. Rosenstein denied the report as “inaccurate and factually incorrect.”
MSNBC and CNN reported Rosenstein was summoned for a meeting at the White House on Monday.
The move comes just six weeks ahead of the Nov. 6 congressional elections, and could become an explosive political issue as Trump’s fellow Republicans try to keep control of Congress.
Trump has regularly dismissed the investigation as a “witch hunt.”
Scientists to harness the sun to break down plastic
Scientists said Wednesday they have come up with an environmentally-friendly method that uses artificial sunlight to transform plastic into power-generating chemicals, as countries worldwide battle to reduce waste.
Huge quantities of plastic have piled up on land and been dumped in the sea across the world, with Asian nations in particular facing criticism for failing to tackle the problem.
Researchers in Singapore say they have converted plastic into "formic acid", which can be used in power plants to generate electricity, by using a catalyst which neither damages the environment nor costs a lot of money.
Pentagon suspends training of Saudis for security review
The Pentagon announced Tuesday it was temporarily suspending operational training for Saudi military students in the United States following a shooting rampage last week by a Saudi air force officer.
Saudi Arabian military students in the United States will continue classroom instruction but operational training is halted pending a security review, senior Defense Department officials said.
Mohammed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old lieutenant in the Saudi Royal Air Force, opened fire in a classroom at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida on Friday, killing three American sailors and wounding eight other people before being shot dead by police.
AG Bill Barr will ‘try to interfere’ in the 2020 election to re-elect Trump: MSNBC national affairs analyst
Attorney General William Barr will use the Department of Justice to "try to interfere" in the 2020 presidential election to re-elect Donald Trump, MSNBC's national affairs analyst predicted on Tuesday.
John Heilemann was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's "The Last Word."
"The attorney general, from the moment he walked into this job, has behaved in a -- as a ruthless, relentless political hack and a thug and who has behaved not as attorney general of the United States," Heilemann said.
"He made a travesty of the Mueller report and continues to lie on Donald Trump's behalf at every opportunity," he added.