This month, it’s hard to be shocked by any report about Trump-administration officials doubting the president’s fitness for office. After Bob Woodward’s Fear and the anonymous op-ed by a self-identified administration saboteur, what else could surprise?
The New York Times answered that question Friday afternoon:
The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.
Rosenstein denied the story in a statement. “The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,” he said. “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 be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
Notably, Rosenstein didn’t specifically state which parts of the story are inaccurate or incorrect. A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed that Rosenstein had made a remark about wearing wires, but said that he was being sarcastic; other journalists, including NBC News’ Pete Williams, reported the same. The Washington Post reported that Rosenstein made the comment in response to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe pushing to investigate Trump: “Rosenstein responded with what this person described as a sarcastic comment along the lines of, ‘What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?’”