WASHINGTON (AP) — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is flying Monday with President Donald Trump on Air Force One to a police chiefs’ conference in Florida.
The flight provides an opportunity for their most extensive conversation since news reports last month that Rosenstein had discussed possibly secretly recording Trump to expose chaos in the White House and invoking constitutional provisions to get him removed from office.
The reports, which Rosenstein denied, fueled speculation that Rosenstein might be fired or resign. Rosenstein told officials that he would be willing to resign and met at the White House with chief of staff John Kelly during a chaotic day two weeks ago that ended with him still in his Justice Department job.
Rosenstein and Trump had been expected to meet at the White House days later, but that meeting was put off so that the president could focus on a confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Trump has said publicly that he would prefer not to fire the Justice Department’s No. 2 official and that Rosenstein has told him he did not say the remarks attributed to him. That suggests Rosenstein’s job is safe until at least the midterm elections next month.
Trump is scheduled to speak Monday at the International Association Chiefs of Police conference in Orlando.
Rosenstein oversees the special counsel’s investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. He appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel.
Although Trump has at times criticized his deputy attorney general, he has reserved his sharpest verbal attacks at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused from the Russia investigation in March 2017 because of his involvement with the Trump campaign.