Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s criticism over the federal investigation into Russian activities during the 2016 presidential election, is flying to Florida with Trump on Monday, according to an official familiar with the matter.
The No. 2 Justice Department official will accompany Trump to Orlando, Florida, where the Republican president was scheduled to deliver a speech, the official said.
There has been widespread speculation that Trump might fire Rosenstein, who is in charge of the Russia investigation, after a New York Times report that he had made remarks about Trump’s fitness for office and offered to tape record conversations with him.
Rosenstein has denied the Sept. 21 report as “inaccurate and factually incorrect.” The article said that while Rosenstein had made the suggestions over concern about chaos in the administration, none of them actually came to fruition.
Trump and Rosenstein spoke the week after the report came out and had planned to meet to discuss the issue further but that meeting was postponed, the White House said at the time.
Trump said he “had a good talk” with Rosenstein.
“He said he never said it. He said he doesn’t believe. He said he has a lot of respect for me. And he was very nice. And we’ll see,” the president said at a news conference when asked if he would fire the deputy attorney general.
Rosenstein oversees Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Russia denies interfering and Trump says there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow.