President Trump seems to be growing tired of the foul odor of the Washington swamp and recently told a crowd that he would be doing something to fix it.
While not sharing specific details, Trump said there was a “lingering stench” at the Department of Justice that he would be taking care of.
“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 to the Missouri crowd, during a campaign rally for Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley. “But there’s a lingering stench and we’re going to get rid of that, too.”
“There’s a lingering stench, and we’re going to get rid of that too.” Speaking live at a rally in Missouri, President Trump seemingly makes reference to recent reports surrounding Rod Rosenstein and the Justice Department https://t.co/N1plyniXnL pic.twitter.com/89VN2w4ZL8
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) September 22, 2018
As Reuters reports, the president’s comments came shortly after a report emerged that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested he would wear a “wire” and secretly record the president. According to the report, Rosenstein would then seek to expose the behind-the-scenes actions and dialogue used by the administration to have Trump removed from office.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 22, 2018
Per Fox News, the report was refuted by Rosenstein, who is the number two guy at the Justice Department:
The Trump administration was rocked Friday afternoon by a bombshell report saying Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last year suggested secretly recording President Trump to expose chaos in the White House and enlisting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
Rosenstein adamantly denied the accusations.
“The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,” he said in a statement to Fox News. “I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
Trump vowed to take aim at “real bad” people within the Justice Department after claims that Rod Rosenstein plotted to secretly record him https://t.co/X1zX3mWxdR
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) September 22, 2018
As Fox News Insider reports, law Professor Jonathan Turley said the comments and subsequent controversy will not help an already strained relationship between Trump and the Justice Department. Trump has repeatedly expressed frustrations over Attorney general Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which falls under the scope of the DOJ.
“Joking about recording the president or having him forcibly removed [from office] does not help their relationship either,” he said, per the report.
Noting the upcoming midterm elections, Turley said that if Trump were to respond to the report by conducting a mass firing of DOJ officials, “the optics would be perfectly horrible for the White House.”