President Donald Trump now says he has a “great relationship” with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
“It’s fantastic,” Trump said of the two men’s rapport.
Rosenstein has been a frequent target of the president’s wrath. Part of Trump’s ire was a result of his dislike for special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the Russian meddling in the 2016 election, commissioned and overseen by Rosenstein.
The newspaper said Trump had to be warned by aides back in April not to fire Rosenstein.
And it was Rosenstein also approved the raids on the home, office and hotel room of Trump attorney Michael Cohen.
Trump and Rosenstein now talk once or twice a week, the newspaper reported. And Rosenstein regularly prepares the Trump team ahead of major news stories.
Just last month he requested a meeting in the Oval office to notify Trump that Russian officials would be indicted for election hacking. He wanted to know if the president wanted the announcement made before or after the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump had told Rosenstein to issue a statement as soon as possible because he believed it would provide leverage in his talks with Putin, sources told the Journal.
Rosenstein now visits the White House as often as three times a week, the paper said. He meets with either Trump or chief of staff John Kelly.
“On the larger issues – more contentious issues that might be in the press – Rod is very quick to come over and brief the president and say, ‘What you might be reading in the press is not the reality,'” a senior White House official told the Journal.
Rosenstein declined comment about his relationship with Trump. But a Justice Department spokeswoman told the paper he has a “productive working relationship” with the president.
But Trump said: “We have a great relationship.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently defended Rosenstein after a handful of congressional Republicans moved to impeach him. Sessions said he has the “highest confidence” in Rosenstein and described him as “highly capable.”
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