Apr 20, 2018, 10:27 AM ET

Rosenstein told Trump he's not a target of investigation of his personal lawyer: Sources

#

Embattled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Donald Trump a week ago that he is not a target of the investigation of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, two sources close to Trump told ABC News.

Interested in Donald Trump?

Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

Rosenstein on his own brought up the probe of Cohen to the president during that meeting, sources said.

The Department of Justice declined to comment on the matter.

PHOTO: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, speaks to the media with an announcement that the office of special counsel Robert Mueller says a grand jury has charged 13 Russian nationals and several Russian entities, Feb. 16, 2018, in Washington.Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, speaks to the media with an announcement that the office of special counsel Robert Mueller says a grand jury has charged 13 Russian nationals and several Russian entities, Feb. 16, 2018, in Washington.

The president has repeatedly threatened both publicly and privately to fire Rosenstein, as he has also done with both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties to Trump associates.

However, on Wednesday, Trump seemed to take a different tack, responding to a reporter’s question about the fate of the three officials by saying “they're still here.”

PHOTO: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trumps longtime personal lawyer, leaves federal court in New York, April 16, 2018.Jeenah Moon/The New York Times/Redux
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, leaves federal court in New York, April 16, 2018.

“They’ve been saying I’m going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months,” Trump said while in Florida. “And they’re still here. We want to get the investigation over with, done with, put it behind us. And we have to get back to business.”

At the same time, as ABC News has reported, the president has been "less inclined" to sit down for an interview with Mueller since an FBI raid on Cohen's home, office and hotel room on April 9, according to sources.

Trump's legal team last met with Mueller's office about a potential Trump interview on the same day as the Cohen raid.

Deputy U.S. Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein participates in a summit, at the Justice Department, Feb. 2, 2018, in Washington | President Donald Trump visits Joint Interagency Task Force South at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla., April 19, 2018.Getty Images
Deputy U.S. Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein participates in a summit, at the Justice Department, Feb. 2, 2018, in Washington | President Donald Trump visits Joint Interagency Task Force South at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla., April 19, 2018.

Now with longtime Trump friend and surrogate Rudy Giuliani's joining the Trump legal team, he will be part of all negotiations with Mueller's office going forward.

The former New York City mayor and federal prosecutor says his job is to help Mueller get “what he needs to wrap it up” and to “try to negotiate a way to get this over with."

Giuliani's joining comes after the Trump team searched for several weeks to fill a void left by the abrupt departure of the president's lead attorney, John Dowd. Dowd quit in part because he felt the President was taking less of his advice, sources told ABC News.

ABC News' Jack Date and Jordyn Phelps contributed to this report.

News - Rosenstein told Trump he's not a target of investigation of his personal lawyer: Sources

RRelated Posts

CComments

  • Richard

    Why would Rosenstein tell Trump that. I thought the DOJ didn't comment on open investigations. This is all so corrupt. Everyone is trying to save their own asses and no one is acting with integrity.

  • P.A.Brenner

    Looks like Trump was right, again.

  • Tammie

    It looks like Trump won, this was all made up trash and it needs to be ended NOW

  • tet1953

    I believe this is his third FL vacation already this year, and that isn't counting the weekend jaunts. There was the holidays, then spring break, now this one which wasn't even announced.

  • Discrimination is not a right.

    We've heard this before. I wonder how long before he gets tied to it.

  • Fermer Votre Bouche

    Trump may not be a target but the Trump Campaign sure is.

  • WM Guidry

    What a bunch of faffing around. There shouldn't be any 'negotiators' needed for the president. He should have to be interviewed like everyone else because he is not above the law that the rest of us are subject to. It is an investigation. People have been chosen to do that and they should be left alone to gather facts and do what they deem necessary to get the job done. Should Rosenstein be telling the president anything about the proceedings?

  • Orange McCarthy Slush

    I would tell a hot headed irrational narcisist the very same thing, true or not.

  • Lee Thompson

    He may not be the target, but if criminal activity is discovered as prosecutors go through the materials, and Trump is a 'participant', he can get nailed, all the same.

  • Anthony

    Trump is not a "target" of the Russia investigation, but he is a "subject" of the investigation. And if the FBI finds any evidence that Trump was involved in criminal activity, he will become the "target" of the investigation.

  • Jack25

    For now. LOL.

  • Roger

    Yes, Trump, relax. Take it easy. No big deal. Its all going to be okay.
    You're not the initial probe. Your son and son-in-law is! Remember old Trump Jr and receiving that email saying that the Russian GOVERNMENT wanted to released dirt on Hillary and meet with him? Sure you may not, Mueller does. Remember how Kushner met with a Russian banker that was on the sanctioned list and then tried to set up a secret back-channel communication route with the Russian GOVERNMENT in the Russian embassy? No? Mueller does.
    So yea, take it easy Trump. It'll make it more fun when Mueller comes with the cuffs.

  • c.g.

    It doesn't matter if someone is initially not the "target" of an investigation....that can change quickly based on the evidence that is found and of the testimony of those wanting to make deals to stay out of jail.....

  • Texan9

    Yeah, tRUMP is not the target of the Probe...He is the Prober..the P GRABBER...the 5time draft dodger..PEDIFILE supporter..Porn star chaser....what a joke...

  • Furrmin The Cat

    Why do the alt right pay for stories like these over and over again?
    We have all had this explained. He is the subject of an investigation not the target. He can become a target at any moment but making him a subject keeps him at bay. Duh!

  • P.A.Brenner

    No kidding

  • Glen

    Could ABC (and the rest) please give us some hints as to who they get their information from? You don't need to name names, but give us a general sense of who you are getting your info from other than "sources close to Trump".

    Also, could you let us know if you later discredit a source of yours, and no longer use, if you find out that source has been yanking your chain? Something I would not put past any slimeball in Trump's orbit. If you find a source to be full of feces, do you later inform the viewers/readers that a source of yours was found not to be credible.

    For instance I hear on MSNBC (and other outlets) all the time, reports (from sources) of how infuriated Trump is over this, that, or the other. Screaming, shouting, slamming, throwing around profanities. And yet I don't think I've ever seen this behavior of his caught on tape.

    As someone who can clearly see the solid evidence of what a complete and utter scumbag Trump is (all caught on tape coming from his own mouth and actions), I am certainly pre-disposed to believe these reports, but is it really possible that he has NEVER (to my knowledge) been caught on tape (audio or video) in one of these fits of rage? Sure I can imagine recording devices are strictly prohibited in the White House, but how does someone as volatile as Trump is reported to be (and his Tweets would suggest) remain composed once he's out of the White House and exposed to recording devices? And what about prior to the presidency? Any recordings of his raging? Admittedly I've not looked very hard, but I don't know that the media has ever gone out of their way to demonstrate this behavior in Trump.

    At any rate, I'm mostly interested in how news outlets like ABC vet their sources' information? And have you been taken by any of them? Do you stop using those sources? We're talking about Trump and his people. It would seem to me that they are NOT above purposely putting out misleading information on a continual basis for the mere purpose of obfuscating things and discrediting the media.

  • Powderedtoastman

    Numerous sources said that Trump treated Cohen like garbage and they would not be surprised if Cohen turned on him.

  • TheDarqueSide

    Why is Rosenstein being asked these questions with regard to an ongoing investigation? The questions are unseemly to say the least.

  • TheDarqueSide

    Firm grasp of the obvious. Cohen is the target of the Cohen investigation. However that doesn't mean other crimes and co-conspirators will not be exposed in the process of the investigation.