News & Politics

Trump Fears Rosenstein Is a 'Covert Liberal Trying to Undermine His Presidency': Report

The president is planning on meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

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Just days before President Donald Trump will hold a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Attorney General Rod Rosenstein dropped a bombshell indictment in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation charging 12 Russian intelligence agents with hacking-related crimes.

The indictment, predictably, dominated Friday's news. Many observers noted that Rosenstein had briefed the president on the indictment days before it was released — casting his continued attacks on Mueller's investigation, and his continued fondness of Putin, in an even more suspicious light.

According to a Daily Beast report, five sources close to Trump did not privately hear his attitude change toward Russia or Putin in recent days, despite being briefed on the indictment. 

Even more intriguingly, the report found that two sources said Trump has been complaining about Rosenstein. He believes, they told the news outlet, that Rosenstein is a "covert liberal trying to undermine his presidency."

The piece goes on to detail the extensive lengths to which Trump and his supporters have gone to cast doubt on Russia' interference in the election. One notable but often forgotten example is that Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., called the claims of Russia hacking the DNC "phony" and "lies" on July 11, 2016.

We now know, however, that he had been told that Russia was trying to help his father's campaign and may have dirt on Hillary Clinton in a private email exchange just the month before.

It's an open question why President Trump would see Rosenstein as a threat. If he were completely innocent of any election-related crime, then it's hard to see why he wouldn't welcome his appointee's efforts to address the serious crime of election meddling. If he's guilty, however, he may have good reason to fear Rosenstein and Mueller zeroing in on him.

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.