Rod Rosenstein: Trump has 'no plans' to sack Russia probe official

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Rod Rosenstein's year under pressure

US President Donald Trump says he has no plans to fire the justice department official in charge of the inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.

Speculation mounted last month that Rod Rosenstein could resign or be sacked.

It followed a New York Times report that Mr Rosenstein talked last year about ousting the president.

But Mr Trump told reporters he was "not making any changes" at the Department of Justice.

Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, assumed oversight of the Russia inquiry after his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, recused himself when it emerged he had been in contact with Russia's ambassador to Washington while serving as a Trump campaign adviser.

Another person in charge of the investigation could reduce its scope, push for a speedy resolution - or even remove the man leading it, Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

More than 30 people have been indicted so far in an investigation President Trump has frequently called a "witch hunt".

Mr Rosenstein was due to meet Mr Trump last month, prompting rumours he was about to be sacked.

Image source, AFP
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Rod Rosenstein travelled with President Trump to an event in Florida on Monday

According to the New York Times, Mr Rosenstein discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke a US constitutional clause that provides for the removal of a president if they are deemed unfit for office.

Mr Rosenstein also reportedly suggested surreptitiously recording the president in order to expose chaos in the White House. He denied both claims.

On Monday, the pair travelled together to Florida where President Trump gave a speech to police chiefs.

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The 25th Amendment: Could it be used to unseat Trump?

Asked if he had any plans to fire Mr Rosenstein, Mr Trump replied: "No I don't, no."

The two spoke during their flight in what Mr Trump said was a "good talk". It is not known whether they discussed the New York Times report.