NBC analyst levels Rosenstein for undercutting Mueller report: He 'survived by kissing Trump's ass'
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and President Donald Trump, composite image.

MSNBC's national affairs analyst explained on Friday how Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein survived in President Donald Trump's administration.

John Heilemann was interviewed by Nicolle Wallace on "Deadline: White House."

"The folks that know Rod Rosenstein and Bill Barr best maintain there is something in their DNA that they're loyal to the institutions, but as an outsider it doesn't come across," Wallace noted.

"You see Bill Barr talk about spying occurring, and you see Donald Trump literally as an echo of Bill Barr's testimony in the news -- on Sean Hannity, in an interview on Hannity last night," she explained. "You hear Rod Rosenstein quote someone who under no objective analysis stands for anything close to the rule of law."

"But the idea he said 'I can land the plane,' I'm on your 'team' -- as an outsider that doesn't look remotely objective," Wallace concluded.

"No," Heilemann replied.

"In the middle of the story has been a mystery," Heilemann said. "The mystery has been how did he survive that New York Times story?" he wondered. "The story that talked about him wearing a wire and wrestling up votes for the 25th Amendment."

"This reporting in The Washington Post, it seems to be credible, we now have an answer. He survived by kissing Donald Trump's ass," Heilemann deduced.

"He sounds in a weird way like Bill Barr, all of a sudden Rod Rosenstein is starting to sound like a full-blown Trumpkin, especially in the wake of this criticism," he explained. "I think many of the mysteries about Rod Rosenstein are becoming less mysterious -- and they are not painting a pretty picture."