Another loyalty pledge!?!— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) January 31, 2018
Apparently Trump asked Rod Rosenstein where the Russia investigation was and then asked if he was "on my team".
Can you say obstruction? pic.twitter.com/RWZf1CXKFA
According to CNN, President Donald Trump asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Department of Justice official in the Russia investigation, if he was “on my team.”
Rosenstein reportedly visited the White House in December to ask the president for help in keeping House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes from demanding a series of documents as he was the top DOJ official in the Russia investigation.
But as the two talked, the president allegedly asked Rosenstein about the special counsel’s Russia investigation and where it was headed. He then asked the official if he was on his "team," to which Rosenstein reportedly replied, “Of course, we're all on your team, Mr. President.”
During his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Rosenstein denied that he had ever been asked to be loyal to the administration.
According to CNN, he declined to say whether the Trump administration had ever asked him about the Russia probe, adding he never received “improper” orders. The meeting happened just after he and Trump reportedly met at the White House.
As this piece of news hit the internet, social media users couldn’t hide how unsurprised they were that the president may have asked if Rosenstein had his back.
President Trump to FBI director Jim Comey (Jan 2017): “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty."— Matt Viser (@mviser) January 31, 2018
President Trump to acting FBI director Andy McCabe (May 2017): Who did you vote for?
President Trump to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (Dec 2017): Are you “on my team?"
Reminds me of what comedian Ron White once said: "I had the right to remain silent... but not the ability."— Anthony Bartlett (@anthonybartlett) January 31, 2018
Others reminded followers that Rosenstein is in charge of overseeing the Russia investigation.
A reminder:— Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) January 31, 2018
Rosenstein oversees the Mueller investigation.
Many noticed that if this exchange truly happened, then the DOJ official may have lied to Congress.
The way CNN just reported it, Trump asked how the Russia probe was going and then asked Rosenstein if he was "on my team." If true, Rosenstein seems to have lied to congress when he said he was not asked for any loyalty oaths. https://t.co/IbELJJ2Ngg— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) January 31, 2018
Others said that Rosenstein hadn't done anything wrong by saying he was on the president's team.
Rosenstein is a political appointee. The president asking if he is "on my team" is not exactly an indictable offense here. What did Eric Holder say about Obama again? "I'm still the president's wingman"?— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) January 31, 2018
Regardless of what Rosenstein may have meant when he allegedly answered he was on Trump’s team, it appears that Trump has repeatedly tried to get officials to side with him while he and members of his close circle are under investigation for the alleged collusion with Russia.
As CNN stated, this is yet another episode showing Trump has a hard time not crossing a line that former presidents have tried to avoid crossing when discussing similar investigations with the Justice Department.