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Friday, 21 September 2018

'There's a lingering stench and we're going to get rid of it': Trump warns 'the bad ones' in the Justice Department after report claims Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein 'wanted to wear wire' to record the President and discussed invoking the 25th amendment

  • Trump spoke to a fired-up crowd in Springfield, Missouri, on Friday night
  • The president told the crowd: 'Just look at what is being exposed' in Justice 
  • 'We have great people in the Department of Justice. ... But you've got some real bad ones. You've seen what's happened at the FBI. They're all gone,' he said 
  • But there's a lingering stench and we're going to get rid of that also', he added
  • Follows reports Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wanted to record him
  • Claims have also surfaced that Rosenstein discussed the 25th Amendment 
  • He has strongly denied making any attempt to oust the president  
  • The audience also broke out in chants of 'Kavanaugh' as the Supreme Court nominee faces sexual assault allegations 
President Trump slammed the 'bad ones' in the Justice Department following reports Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wanted to wear a wire to secretly record the president and discussed invoking the 25th Amendment. 
Speaking to a fired-up crowd at a rally in Missouri on Frriday night, he said there was a 'lingering stench' in Justice 'and we're going to get rid of that'.  
He was in Springfield supporting Republican Senate nominee Josh Hawley, who is running against two-term Democratic senator Claire McCaskill.
Hours after the New York Times broke the story, Trump said:  'Just look at what is being exposed in our Justice Department.
'We have great people in the Department of Justice. ... But you've got some real bad ones. You've seen what's happened at the FBI. They're all gone. 
'But there's a lingering stench and we're going to get rid of that, too.'President Trump slammed the 'bad ones' in the Justice Department following reports Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wanted to wear a wire to secretly record the president
President Trump slammed the 'bad ones' in the Justice Department following reports Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wanted to wear a wire to secretly record the president
The audience also broke out in chants of 'Kavanaugh' as the Supreme Court nominee faces sexual assault allegations.   
Trump defended his choice for the bench, saying: 'You talk about central casting, he was born for the U.S. Supreme Court. And it's going to happen.'
He added: 'We have to fight for him, not worry about the other side. And by the way, women are for that more than anybody would understand.' 
Rosenstein suggested last year that he should make covert audio recordings of President Trump in order to build a case for removing him from office, according to the New York Times report.Rosenstein disputed that account on Friday, and a Justice Department official who was reportedly in the room when Rosenstein talked about using the 25th Amendment to end the Trump presidency says he was being sarcastic.
He released a statement on Friday night saying: 'I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false.' 
The 25th Amendment allows for a majority of the president's cabinet, or 'such other body as Congress may by law provide,' to decide if an Oval Office occupant is unable to carry out his duties – and then to put it to a full congressional vote. 
That account agrees with a Fox News report based on sources who were in the room and said the meeting took place May 16, 2017.
The Washington Post, too, cited a source who said Rosenstein's comment was biting but unserious. In Trump's second rally in as many nights, he opened by telling the cheering crowd of thousands in Springfield that 'our country is respected again.'
He says that's because 'we are finally putting America first.' 
Trump has been campaigning aggressively to help the Senate expand its narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate.
He went to Vegas on Thursday night to help Sen. Dean Heller, the only Republican seeking re-election in a state that Democrat Hillary Clinton won in 2016.
The reports about Rosenstein created even greater uncertainty for the deputy attorney general tenure at a time when Trump has lambasted Justice Department leadership and publicly humiliated both Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
More broadly, it's the latest revelation that could affect Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible coordination between Russia and Trump's presidential campaign in 2016. Sessions recused himself from that issue soon after he took office, to Trump's dismay, and Rosenstein then appointed Mueller. 
With all that hanging in the air, Trump has resisted calls from conservative commentators to fire both Sessions and Rosenstein and appoint someone who would ride herd more closely on Mueller or dismiss him.
A number of key FBI officials, including director James Comey and deputy director Andrew McCabe, have been fired since Trump took office.On Friday, Fox also reported that then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page were in the room when Rosenstein raised the subject.
Page had been half of the infamous texting romantic-affair couple who mused in 2016 about how to 'stop' Trump from becoming president.Trump opened by telling the cheering crowd of thousands in Springfield that 'our country is respected again'
Trump opened by telling the cheering crowd of thousands in Springfield that 'our country is respected again'
He says that the respect has been building because 'we are finally putting America first'
He says that the respect has been building because 'we are finally putting America first'
Trump has been campaigning aggressively to help the Senate expand its narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate
Trump has been campaigning aggressively to help the Senate expand its narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate
Rosenstein (pictured in July) suggested last year that he should make covert audio recordings of President Trump in order to build a case for removing him from office, according to a New York Times report
Rosenstein (pictured in July) suggested last year that he should make covert audio recordings of President Trump in order to build a case for removing him from office, according to a New York Times report
Rosenstein (pictured with Trump in May) disputed that account on Friday, and a Justice Department official who was reportedly in the room when Rosenstein talked about using the 25th Amendment to end the Trump presidency says he was being sarcastic
Rosenstein (pictured with Trump in May) disputed that account on Friday, and a Justice Department official who was reportedly in the room when Rosenstein talked about using the 25th Amendment to end the Trump presidency says he was being sarcasticAn Obama-era Justice Department spokesman suggested Friday afternoon that McCabe leaked the story to the Times.
'Dangerous game Andy McCabe is playing right now,' Matthew Miller tweeted.
Ari Fleischer, who was White House press secretary during the George W. Bush administration, lashed out separately at McCabe.
'This story reads like Andy McCabe trying to burn down the house he once lived in,' he tweeted.
'Looks to me like McCabe is trying to get revenge on those he used to work with, after they challenged his honesty and fired him.'
McCabe is himself facing a federal probe over allegations that he misled investigators about the sources of press leaks; Attorney General Jeff Sessions terminated his employment this year, just days before he was scheduled to retire with a full pension.
In the Post's telling, McCabe had proposed opening an investigation into the president after the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
'What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?' Rosenstein chided him, according to one source.

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