WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 13: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies during a Senate Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee...
Zach Gibson

Trump continues his offensive against his own deputy attorney general

The Rachel Maddow Show, 11/28/18, 9:00 PM ET

Unlike Nixon, Trump misconduct piling up in full public view

Rachel Maddow reviews the many ways that Americans have witnessed Donald Trump attempt to quash or otherwise undercut the special counsel investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign, unlike Richard Nixon, the full record of whose misdeeds were not
The professional relationship between Donald Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein hasn’t always been friendly, but it’s safe to say yesterday pushed their connection to new depths.

For reasons that are difficult to understand, the president thought it’d be a good idea to promote a Twitter message calling for the imprisonment of his perceived political foes. The text of the tweet read, “Now that Russia collusion is a proven lie, when do the trials for treason begin?”

It was accompanied by an image featuring a variety of people, including Barack Obama, James Comey, and Robert Mueller. But of particular interest was Rosenstein’s inclusion in the image, since he is the president’s deputy A.G. Does Trump really want to see a top Justice Department official incarcerated and charged with treason?

I assumed that the president, if asked, would simply laugh this off as some kind of odd joke, or perhaps argue that he didn’t realize Rosenstein was included in the image. But when Trump sat down with the New York Post yesterday, he ended up saying something very different.

It was no accident that President Trump Wednesday retweeted an image of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein locked up.

When asked during an interview with The Post: “Why do you think he belongs behind bars?” Trump responded: “He should have never picked a Special Counsel.”

This is, for what it’s worth, a relatively new argument for Trump. After the president fired FBI Director James Comey in order to help derail the investigation into the Russia scandal, Rosenstein tapped former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the probe.

It was a sound decision that drew bipartisan praise. It was not “treason” or grounds for imprisonment.

Rachel added on last night’s show, “So the president just saying out loud tonight that a top Justice Department official should be jailed and charged with a crime – a crime for which the penalty is capital punishment – for having appointed a special counsel in the Russia investigation.”

I wonder how Rosenstein’s next meeting in the Oval Office will go.

Donald Trump and Justice Department

Trump continues his offensive against his own deputy attorney general