Wallace: Rosenstein Issued 'Weak, Lawyerly' Denial of Bombshell NYT Report
Rosenstein reportedly discussed 25th Amendment.
"Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace reacted Friday on "Shepard Smith Reporting" to a bombshell report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested last year secretly recording President Trump and enlisting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
The New York Times reported:
Mr. Rosenstein made the remarks about secretly recording Mr. Trump and about the 25th Amendment in meetings and conversations with other Justice Department and F.B.I. officials. Several people described the episodes, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by F.B.I. officials, including Andrew G. McCabe, then the acting bureau director, that documented Mr. Rosenstein’s actions and comments.
None of Mr. Rosenstein’s proposals apparently came to fruition. It is not clear how determined he was about seeing them through, though he did tell Mr. McCabe that he might be able to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security and now the White House chief of staff, to mount an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment.
Rosenstein has denied the report, calling it "factually incorrect." There were also subsequent reports that he was joking.
"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."
Wallace said he views the statement from Rosenstein as "very weak," and written in a "lawyerly" fashion.
"I think it's very careful," said Wallace, adding that Rosenstein only asserted there is "no basis" currently for the 25th Amendment to be considered.
He said Rosenstein did not specifically say anything about whether he discussed wearing a "wire" or brought up the 25th Amendment.
Wallace said the story will raise questions about Rosenstein's frame of mind right around the time he appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Jon Scott noted that, according to The Washington Post, Rosenstein's statements were documented in memos written by then-FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe.
"This is a Rubik's Cube of political motivation here," said Wallace, noting that McCabe is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department.
Watch the discussion above.