President Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have delayed their meeting until next week, the White House announced Thursday.
“The president spoke with Rod Rosenstein a few minutes ago, and they plan to meet next week. They do not want to do anything to interfere with the hearing,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
The two were slated to meet sometime Thursday and talk about a New York Times report that alleges Rosenstein discussed secretly recording Trump, as well as invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. Rosenstein, the Justice Department's No. 2, has said neither one was ever considered.
At a press conference Wednesday night in New York, Trump said he was thinking about delaying the meeting.
”I’m talking to him. We've had a good talk. He said he never said it. He said he doesn't believe it. He said he has a lot of respect for me. He was very nice, and we’ll see,” Trump said.
Trump said he wanted to delay the meeting so he and the White House could focus on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Ford, who has accused the judge of sexual assault.
The hearing began at 10 a.m. on Capitol Hill.
Monday was a tumultuous one for Rosenstein, who went to the White House expecting to be fired following the New York Times report. It was then revealed that Rosenstein was mulling retirement.
When asked if he is planning to fire Rosenstein on Wednesday night, Trump said no.
“I certainly would prefer not doing that,” the president said. “My preference is to keep him.”
Rosenstein oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and any links to Trump campaign officials, and his removal as deputy attorney general could shake up the investigation.
Trump regularly dismisses the probe as a “witch hunt.”