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Trump tears into DOJ, FBI: There's a 'lingering stench'

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 9/22/2018 Gabby Morrongiello
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.

President Trump told thousands of supporters at a rally Friday night that he will to get rid of the "lingering stench" at the Justice Department and FBI, hours after a bombshell report suggested his own deputy attorney general discussed removing him from office early on in Trump's presidency.

The New York Times in a story late Friday afternoon claimed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein once suggested secretly recording Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment, which lays out a mechanism that could be used to remove a sitting president. The report was based on memos written by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and obtained by the Times, the Washington Post reported in a separate story.

"Just look at what is being exposed at the Department of Justice and FBI. Let me tell you, we have great people in there but we have some really bad ones too," Trump told the crowd at a campaign rally in Springfield, Mo.

"There's a lingering stench, and we're going to get rid of that too," he said.

Rosenstein immediately denied the accuracy of both reports on Friday, calling the Times' story "factually incorrect" and denying having ever seen a reason "to invoke the 25th Amendment" during his "personal dealings" with Trump.

But some White House allies, who have long questioned Rosenstein's motives, seized on the allegations as evidence that he has actively sought to undermine the president.

"I have requested that the Judiciary Committee convene hearings with Mr. Rosenstein, and others who are alleged to have been in the room at the time, in order to ascertain the truth," Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a top Trump supporter on Capitol Hill, said in a statement Friday.

"Needless to say, if these inflammatory and disturbing claims are true, they constitute grounds for Mr. Rosenstein's immediate removal," Gaetz added.

Trump previously discussed firing Rosenstein over his frustrations with the ongoing special counsel investigation, though his legal team and White House advisers talked him out of pulling the trigger. He has declined to endorse an effort by some House conservatives to potentially impeach Rosenstein over his handling of congressional document requests.

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