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Trump, Deputy Attorney General To Meet After Reports Of Dismissal


U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

The White House has said that U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on September 27 in Washington after the two spoke by telephone.

The conversation between the two on September 24 came as U.S. media outlets reported that Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election, would be fired by Trump.

But White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Rosenstein and Trump "had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories" in a statement posted on Twitter on September 24.

"They will meet on (September 27) when the president returns to Washington," she said. Trump is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

Several media outlets including The New York Times and The Washington Post reported that Rosenstein was expecting to be dismissed during his conversation with Trump on September 24, following the publication of reports that he had discussed ways to remove the president from office over incompetence.

Rosenstein has played a key role in overseeing the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Observers say his departure would leave the investigation at risk.

Trump has faced mounting pressure from Mueller's investigation, which the president has regularly dismissed as a "witch hunt."

There was widespread speculation that Trump would fire Rosenstein after a New York Times report on September 21 said that in 2017 he had suggested secretly recording Trump and recruiting cabinet members to invoke a constitutional amendment to remove him from office.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP