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.”
WATCH: Here’s the secret to dissecting Trump’s chaotic distractions
In an extended examination on MSNBC, host Ari Melber took a hard look at how President Donald Trump creates almost daily distractions for the media and the public to keep the focus off his multiple scandals and to make it look like he is doing something -- when all he is doing is creating controversy for controversy's sake.
Put simply, Melber explained, the president's tweets out some plan he has no intention of implementing, hypes it up for days -- then drops it like it never happened.
Using Trump's aborted attack on Iran as a jumping off point, Melber -- and his panel -- explained that Trump's style of governing is based on "head fakes" and "bluffs."
Chuck Todd’s terrible interview with fabricator-in-chief Trump snapped the tether: From here on out there’s no truth
Nothing will ever be the same again. Donald Trump’s unwavering disregard for reality and his acts of violence against the truth are rapidly metastasizing into the marrow of the national debate. I'm not sure we have enough heroes in this country to successfully extricate Trumpism and toss it into the biohazard waste bin of history, along other embarrassments in America's mixed record.
The very fabric of right and wrong in America is disintegrating as one of our two major parties, with some crucial help from Russia, has convinced four out of every 10 voters that verifiable truth is nothing more than a fake news plot against them and their beloved Fifth Avenue Clampetts. As a result, half of the political debate, from the local level on up, is built exclusively on wrongness — on total nonsense, invented by Trump himself along with his propaganda cable network.
New York’s legislature gives landlords a lesson in democracy
The knockout punch that the New York State Legislature just landed fighting landlords over spiraling rents ought to be attracting wider attention.
Just as with healthcare access or prescription drug prices, the cost of rent increases that mostly benefit big apartment owners is a challenge to the income-gap society that are at the heart of the national political debate. Every urban center in the country is having housing problems, and rents, like mortgages, are a subject at every kitchen table.
For once, the New York Legislature, whose Democrats overcame internecine divisions this session, has abolished rules that let building owners deregulate apartments, and closed loopholes that have permitted landlords to raise rents. And the changes for better tenant protection were made permanent, eliminating the recurring drama over these issues.