The media has been in a frenzy for the last 24 hours over news that President Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller back in June of 2017, just weeks into his investigation.
Much of the reporting has focused on the lawyers who talked him out of it. The president is said to have ordered his legal team to terminate Mueller for a series of personal conflicts of interest he supposedly had with Trump directly, but White House Counsel Don McGahn reportedly threatened to quit if the president forced him to follow through.
Cooler heads apparently prevailed, however, and Mueller has kept his job. But if today’s late breaking news is any indication, the president isn’t happy about it at all.
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In fact, according to CNN, which cites four sources close to the administration, the man whose catchphrase used to be “You’re Fired” during his days as a reality TV star, is furious about his inability to terminate anyone involved in Mueller’s investigation.
Those same sources have confirmed who’s in the president’s cross hairs: Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
“The president has in recent weeks maintained his frustration with Rosenstein, the No. 2 Justice Department official overseeing the federal Russia probe,” CNN reports.
“At times, Trump even gripes about wanting Rosenstein removed, two of those sources said. One source said the President makes comments like ‘let’s fire him, let’s get rid of him’ before his advisers convince him it’s an ill-fated idea.”
More from CNN:
“Ever since a special counsel was named, the President’s frustrations have continued to simmer. Trump has come to view Rosenstein as one-in-the-same as Mueller, another government official who is out to get the President, one source said. Sources described Trump’s frustration with Rosenstein as largely bluster.”
One of CNN’s sources even told them that, “When this comes up, everyone says, ‘That’s the death march. That’s not going to accomplish anything.'”
Sacking Mueller or Rosenstein will take the president into unchartered waters, as even many Republicans have warned the White House that doing so constitutes a red line he must not cross.
The urge to fire people, however, could be too much for this notoriously petulant president to resist.