Rosenstein appears to rebuke Trump in anti-corruption speech — and becomes a 'shade-throwing' internet hero
Rod Rosenstein plays a key role in overseeing the probe into alleged collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, which the president calls a politically motivated "witch hunt". (AFP/File / Brendan SMIALOWSKI)

In one of his last speeches as a member of the government, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appeared to criticize President Donald Trump while addressing a group of anti-corruption professionals.


"It is fitting that one of my final speeches in this job is about promoting compliance and preventing corruption," Rosenstein, a keynote speaker at the anti-bribery TRACE organization's annual forum, told an audience Thursday.

"Criminal cases reveal illegal schemes to the public and may cost corrupt officials their jobs," the outgoing deputy attorney general said. "But every system remains vulnerable to people who pursue their own personal interests."

"The United States Constitution ... aspires to establish a government that promotes the interests of the governed, rather than the interests of their temporary leaders," Rosenstein added. "All government officials take an oath pledging loyalty to the public interest. Reliance on personal integrity and cultural norms is part of the strategy to preserve liberty. But it is supported by structural protections. The enforcement mechanism is crucial, as James Madison recognized in Federalist 51, because 'you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.'"

As soon some of his more seemingly-pointed comments made their way onto Twitter, users began noting how controversial they could be.

"Snoop DAG throwing shade," former FBI agent Asha Rangappa tweeted.

"Rosenstein likes to act like he’s all professional and reserved," Alternet's Cody Fenwick tweeted, "and then he’ll pull a pin out of grenade and just walk out of the room like this."

"This is shade in the same spirit of what Mattis said about Trump in his resignation letter," another user noted.

Check out more responses below: