Report: Trump Asked Rosenstein If He Was On His “Team” Before His Testimony To Congress

Rod_Rosenstein_US_AttorneyThere is another disturbing report alleging that, despite all of the damage caused by President Donald Trump allegedly asking former FBI Director for a pledge of loyalty, he asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein whether he was “on my team” before Rosenstein testified before Congress.  Notably, in the hearing, Rosenstein was asked  “Is it ever appropriate for a president of the United States to demand a Department of Justice official or FBI director to take a loyalty pledge?” He replied “I don’t have any opinion about that. Nobody has asked me to take a loyalty pledge other than the oath of office.”


If true (and we have not heard from the White House), it was particularly concerning because the alleged encounter occurred during a January 2017 meeting. After all of the controversy over inappropriate comments and queries, it would be incredible to ask someone like Rosenstein if he would be a loyal team member when he is investigating allegations of obstruction and inappropriate pressure by the President (including alleged demands for express loyalty statements).  Rosenstein is widely viewed as an apolitical civil servant.

Rosenstein’s denial before the Committee would not be facially false since since this reported statement was not a direct demand for a “loyalty pledge.”  However, if it was said, it clearly was meant to elicit a statement of loyalty.  According to news reports, Rosenstein responded obliquely along the lines that everyone is on the same team.

Again the most concerning element is the date.  With the Mueller investigation and congressional investigation focusing on improper contacts and pressures, it would be unthinkable to ask such a question of someone like Rosenstein — who after all appointed Mueller.   This follows an account of Trump asking the acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe how he voted for in the presidential election.  

As someone who has continued to question the evidence of obstruction, such accounts are personally quite baffling.  It is not simply that a question like this to Rosenstein would never have elicited the desired response. It was a question to the man who is supervising Mueller in looking at any effort to obstruct or interfere with the investigation.

Once again, I would be relieved if this story is false, but it likely to be a new line of inquiry in the continuing investigation.


76 thoughts on “Report: Trump Asked Rosenstein If He Was On His “Team” Before His Testimony To Congress”

  1. Dang, I had a busy night! I shot and killed three bank robbers who were threatening one of the tellers. This was after I saw a Tactical Nuke 55 Gallon Drum bomb falling on a parachute over the air base, and told everybody to get inside the bank before the shock wave hit. Then, after all that, and we all went outside, and I saw a penis-shaped tornado heading our way, and we all had to run back inside.

    Sooo, I got up this morning to DVR all the stories about me on the TV news, and can you believe this- – – nobody did a story on me! I mean, is it because I am a woman???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

      1. Well, since we have all these fantasy “report” posts, I thought maybe my dreams qualified. Maybe I should have “reported” that Trump came to town to give me a medal, and when I went to his hotel room to get it, he came sliding out on the floor in his sock feet, and did the Tom Cruise underwear dance. . .

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

  2. ” ‘I’ve never witnessed before the reckless partisan behavior’ of today’s GOP”. Ex- CIA Chief

    Rhetorically, how many of the offending GOP politicians are funded by the Koch’s, Mercer, Uihlein, Art Pop,…

    Dark money hides it all. The Roberts Court’s decision, in Citizens United, brought the U.S. to this point.

    1. The Citizens United decision did not open the floodgates to rich folks political donations. It applied only to corporations and unions. The vast bulk of political money comes from individual donations to PACs. Corporations provide only 10% of the money in politics. Congress could pass laws limiting donations to PACs. But it won’t.

      Almost all corporate money goes to lobbyists.

      Finally, I’ll bet you did not know that the ACLU (!!!) filed a brief with the Supreme Court favoring the corporation’s legal contentions under the First Amendment. Yes, the ACLU filed a brief supporting the Citizens United corporation.

      1. Don’t diminish the adverse impact of Citizens United- it applied to non-profits, like the NRA. Talking Points Memo has an excellent summary of what’s at stake. (Reference to Maria Butina, Alexander Torshin and Paul Erickson.)

  3. Trump’s “team” question was, at the least, an effort to determine whether Rosenstein was going to say anything harmful to Trump. And, at the worst, it was a veiled threat that if Rosenstein was not “with” Trump there would be repercussions.

    I cannot get upset about either one. But it is another demonstration that Trump is indifferent to the normal protocols of the office of the President.

    Is it bad that Trump has abandoned the historic Presidential public veneer of being above the fray?

  4. A team member reference is not earth shattering news. Good grief. People please,please get over it !

  5. “on my team” is not a loyalty oath. A fireman fighting a large fire with many firemen might say to another firefighter, you are “on my team” and that is not a loyalty oath. IMO those words are consistent with Trump’s language and have nothing to do with a loyalty oath as we know it.

    I have heard it said by people that said they worked with Rosenstein that his personality is similar to the character Frank Burns from the TV series Mash. I recently heard him speak and felt the characterization appropriate.

    1. Isn’t the “on my team” question just a way of asking, “Are you willing to put my interests over the law and the Constitution, no matter what?”

      1. That is one way of looking at it, but to different people, it means different things. You can’t read minds although many try very hard to do so in order to prove what they wish to believe. That leads to a lot of errant postings here and elsewhere.

  6. It is not criminal to ask if someone is loyal. Trump asks all his administration officials that. As far as corrupt intent…it has to be corrupt intent to impede an investigation. Asking if you are on my team doesn’t express loyalty but asking loyalty in itself doesn’t mean impeding the Investigation. With Rosenstein’s sworn testimony that Trump didn’t try to impede or influence the Investigation that’s enough to say the meeting was not obstruction of justice.

    One thing against Rosenstein is he sure showed loyalty to Hillary Clinton. He wrote that memo to fire Comey because of him releasing that 2016 report on the Clinton Investigation.

    Oh how about that Comey. He knew Trump wasn’t under investigation but implied under oath Trump was under investigation for collusion. False implications isn’t a fireable offense Turley? Oh Comey testified after he was fired that he believed Trump only asked to end the part of the Flynn Investigation that involved talking to the Russian Ambassador. We found out Flynn talked to the Russian Ambassador about future policy after the Election during the transition. This isn’t illegal. Flynn was fired from the Administration for lying about it not because of doing it.

    McCabe anyone? You mean the “Andy” implicated in the text messages of removed FBI Agent Peter Storzck as coordinating the Russian Collusion Investigation as an “insurance policy” if Hillary Clinton lost, despite evidence. Or the McCabe that leaked misleading information to the Press that Trump Administration official ordered to end Investigation. The Administration official was Preibus but he didn’t order anything. McCabe came in calling the Russian investigation was BS so Preibus asked if McCabe can stop the Investigation because it was BS to him. No ordering just an appropriate question. As I said before McCabe leaked to the media saying an order was made.

    Mueller? If those Clinton Donors and the Clinton Foundation lawyer didn’t mean anything to you. How about those pesky text messages again. Mueller hired the blatantly anti Trump FBI AGENT AND DOJ OFFICIAL to work the Investigation and only removed them after the DOJ INSPECTOR GENERAL called him out.

    Sorry Turley…this isn’t obstruction of justice but trying to combat biased investigators and I will even go as far to say entrapment because they needed an “insurance policy.”

  7. More leaks now…. they are working against the president…he is part of the dig corrupt state

  8. “Rosenstein is widely viewed as an apolitical civil servant.”
    I suspect that popular (if naive) impression evaporates once we see the memo and Rosenstein’s role in ginning up the presentation to the FISA court for the bogus warrant to spy on Trump’s campaign via Carter Page. Given that, it’s a fair question with an obvious answer. You infer too much good faith to these bureaucrats since the corruption is endemic.

  9. I’m surprised that someone such as Turley who’s usually on the ball would consider this issue out of the context in which the alleged incident would have occurred — that context being that on virtually a daily basis there were revelations about embedded bureaucrats (aka deep staters) proving via unlawful leaking of classified information that they were in the Trump Administration but working against the Trump Administration.

    Under those documented circumstances, there’s nothing that concerns me about Trump’s questioning whether anyone working under him was working for or against him.

    If those circumstances didn’t exist, Trump’s query might raise eyebrows. But those circumstances did exist, and they still do. There are many many republicans and democrats that opposed Trump’s election and still oppose Trump, and he’d have to be a total moron not to wonder about the issue of who people are actually working for while theoretically serving at the pleasure of the President. And asking the question is just being up front and honest with the people with whom he’s dealing. Some people would consider that admirable.

    To me, it’s similar to Trump’s using his daughter and son-in-law in the White House. I’m not normally a big fan of nepotism — but when the President doesn’t really know who he can trust, I don’t really blame the guy for seeking the assistance (or mere presence) of his family members. Under ideal circumstances, I’d heap criticism on Trump related to nepotism — but those ideal circumstances don’t exist.

          1. At least it’s a decent song. The last time I hiked to the summit of one of the White Mountains, I checked the local oldies radio station to get a weather report before I started out. With three minutes left until the top-of-the-hour weather forecast, I ended up tuning in just in time to hear Neil Sedaka’s Calendar Girl. Not saying it’s the crappiest song ever written (although it might just be), but it’s certainly not the last thing you want to hear before heading off on an all-day hike. It sticks to the roof of your brain like peanut butter sticks to the roof of a dog’s mouth.

                  1. That he could not act notwithstanding, his ability to repair something by rapping it with his fist inspired many.

                    Back in the 1990s, I owned a rather cantankerous computer having a hard drive that suffered the occasional endless loop when reading a bad sector on one of the platters (or some other issue). When in this state it would grind away in the same repetitive staccato, yet cured easily by a swift slap on the side.

                    The slap certainly cost less than a new hard drive but had also the rewarding benefit of when a person becomes angry at the computer, he could smack it and actually force the machine to change its behavior and giving the human a sense of closure through exacting revenge.

  10. Economy growing and thriving.  Jobs, jobs, jobs everywhere.  Stock market in the stratosphere making millions of people billions of dollars richer, kim dong unhinged pissing pants, kissing ass and asking to play in the sandbox, welfare checks to the death to America crowd cut off and a First Lady in the White House that is not a fake lady.
    Just imagine how much GREATER this country would be by now if the democrats hadn’t spent the last 14 months at war with Trump, The United States and The American People using tools like Rosenstein to try to nullify the election, ursurp American Citizens Constitutional Rights and and Civil Rights, start a race war, start a civil war, start white genocide, start male genocide, and establish a death cult totallitarian communist government so they can purge their enemies and rule with absolute power.

      1. Did you hear that?

        Bed #1 at the asylum!

        Hey, that makes you an “expert witness”.

        Please proceed.

    1. Michele Obama is a fake lady you say? I would wager Stormy and Melania have more fake parts.

  11. Can anyone cite the specific law that makes asking someone if they are on the side of America or out to get you or not a crime?
    Obviously Trump’s sense that Rothstein is an anti Constitution traitor using his office to violate American Citizens Rights, try to overturn the choice of the People and nullufy the election were correct. It would have wrong not to vet him.

    1. Does personal loyalty to Trump outweigh loyalty to the Constitution? And does Trump’s election mean that he can do no wrong, and can not be questioned about anything?

      1. No, that was Obama.

        Obama had Eric Holder who told everyone that he was his “Wingman” — and the press didn’t have too much to say about it. And he was a good wingman too, protecting Obama all those years. Holder was even held in contempt for hiding from Congress key information about his and Obama’s Fast and Furious gun running operation effectively obstructing the investigation.

        Now that’s how to be a good ‘wingman’ for a president. Eric Holder knew how to do it. Keep him from being investigated in the first place. Obama had loyalty alright.

        1. Then they shut down journalist Sharyl Attkisson’s investigative reporting into the Fast and Furious scandal by intimidating and spying on her. She accused the Obama admin of illegal surveillance and has sued the Justice Department over the hacking of her computers. The matter is ongoing.

          Obama had loyalty not just from his Attorney General, but from the media too. Why aren’t we hearing anything about investigative journalist Attkisson’s lawsuit?

          1. “Former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has sued the U.S. Department of Justice for illegal surveillance, alleging that the Obama administration hacked her computers while she was reporting on the Benghazi attacks, Fast and Furious and Obamacare.

            “There is an administrative claim for illegal wiretapping and a lawsuit alleging constitutional violations,”…


      2. “Attorney General Eric Holder brushed off a question Thursday about when he might leave the administration. Instead, the top lawman professed his allegiance to President Barack Obama.

        “I’m still enjoying what I’m doing, there’s still work to be done. I’m still the President’s wing-man, so I’m there with my boy. So we’ll see,” Holder said in an interview on the Tom Joyner radio show.”

        1. “I’m still the President’s wing-man, so I’m there with my boy.” Attorney General, Eric Holder.

  12. “There is another disturbing report”
    From who? Is this another Monotonous Anonymous, I might begin to believe these reports if I knew where these reports are coming from.

    1. Don’t conflate an “unnamed” source with an “unknown” source. The journalist (and likely his editor) know who provided the information. And yes, police officers routinely apply for warrants every day using information in their sworn affidavit that was obtained from “confidential informants.” The officer must cite in the affidavit the ritual rote that the confidential informant has provided reliable information in the past which has led to the discovery of crime, contraband, criminals, etc…Think controlled buy; the cops use someone known to the dealer who they’ve been able to turn….

      1. If a person calls the police and says he hears gunshots next door leaves no identifying facts he is an unknown source. His intent could have been:
        1)to get even with a neighbor
        2)actual fear.

        That unknown source could have left a name that may have been kept secret, but we are still left with the two questions above.

        The Fusion GPS memo was apparently used to get the FISA warrant. If they had other valid reasons they didn’t need the FISA warrant. If they added Fusion GPS then it appears they were shaky on whatever other reasons they had. 10 lousy reasons is not a good reason for a FISA warrant. 1 good reason is.

        Things are supposed to be relatively simple and when they start to appear too complex that tells us someone was trying to get around the law.

  13. This is not a request for a loyalty pledge under oath. Or not under oath.
    What is wrong with asking if someone is on your team? He did not ask him to lie or cover things up.

    What a bunch of itShay this article is. The news since Lake Woebegone is ridiculous.

    Trump’s address to Congress and the Supreme Court was not a campaign speech. It was “an address”.

  14. shame rosenstein picked that one exception. Breaking the oath of office is more common than upholding it except perhaps in the combat arms of the military.

  15. “It was a question to the man who is supervising Mueller in looking at any effort to obstruct or interfere with the investigation.”

    “Investigation”? Of What?

    Howie Kurtz:

    In an excerpt from my new book “Media Madness: Donald Trump, The Press and the War Over the Truth,” I describe events that unfolded last year, beginning with a conversation between McCabe and the then-White House chief of staff:

    Reince Priebus was chairing a 7:30 a.m. intelligence meeting when one of the participants, Andrew McCabe, asked to speak to him privately.

    McCabe, the deputy FBI director, closed the door and told Priebus: “We want you to know that everything in this New York Times story is bull–.”

    This never was an investigation.

    This is a coup d’etat.

    1. Multiple people – including the President’s former campaign manager and the former NSA – have already been indicted.

      Two have entered guilty pleas.

      You sound ridiculous when you say there’s nothing worth investigating.

      1. Can you be a bit more preceise. such as few, several or some?

        adjective: multiple

        having or involving several parts, elements, or members.
        “multiple occupancy”
        numerous and often varied.
        “words with multiple meanings”
        synonyms: numerous, many, various, different, diverse, several, manifold, multifarious, multitudinous; More
        literarymyriad, divers
        “words with multiple meanings”
        antonyms: single
        (of a disease, injury, or disability) complex in its nature or effects, or affecting several parts of the body.
        “a multiple fracture of the femur”
        of or designating an electrical circuit that has several points at which connection can occur.

        noun: multiple; plural noun: multiples

        a number that can be divided by another number without a remainder.
        “15, 20, or any other multiple of five”

        1. I guess when you don’t have any content issued from rush or hannity to controvert the truth, you can always resort to being the kooky grammar queen.

          this is to “I have trouble keeping my thoughts straight” mikey

      2. For crimes that have nothing to do with Pres. Trump and the dreaded ‘collusion’.

      3. Turdly’s Law:
        One for unrelated events 10 years before the election and another for lying to the FBI about a lawful act. In your crazy world, that means ipso facto Trump is going to be impeached. Think again moonbeam. I bet you wonder about Ivanka’s traffic summmonss, too.

      4. “Multiple people…have already been indicted.” – TurleysLaw

        “A grand jury can indict a ham sandwich.”

        The purveyor of the absurd, “TurleysLaw”, could be indicted.

        Every single American has violated a law; sometime; somewhere; somehow.

        Obergruppenfuhrer Mueller is executing his mission, assigned by the “deep state”, to impeach the republican President.

        Obergruppenfuhrer has achieved the prosecution of two inconsequential and vacuous “process crimes”.

        Obergruppenfuhrer Mueller will be convicted of conspiracy to falsely implicate the President and participation in an insurrectionist coup d’etat in America.

        The endgame; the “deep state” strategy of Obergruppenfuhrer Mueller’s mission is to protect Obama through distraction.

        It will not work.

        All roads lead to Obama.

    2. Haha. Cry me a river; the one that the forthcoming indictments will float down. Pro tip: change the channel.

      this is to “I have a hannity tattoo on my lower back” georgie – paulie

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