Trump-Rosenstein Meeting May be Delayed

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's highly anticipated meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could be delayed again.

A face-to-face meeting set for last week was pushed to this week because it had been scheduled for the same day as last Thursday's Senate hearing featuring back-to-back testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the California woman who says he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sunday that Trump and Rosenstein could meet this week --- a date hasn't been set --- but she added that the meeting could be delayed again given the continued focus on Kavanaugh's nomination.

The FBI is taking another look at Kavanaugh's background in light of allegations from Ford and two other women.

Asked about the issues Trump wants to discuss with Rosenstein, Sanders said she didn't want to "get ahead" of their conversation.

"A date for that hasn't been set. It could be this week. I could see it pushing back another week, given all of the other things that are going on with the Supreme Court. But we'll see," she said on "Fox News Sunday."

The job of Rosenstein, the Justice Department's No. 2 official, may be in question following reports that he discussed possibly secretly recording Trump and invoking the Constitution's 25th Amendment to remove him from office.

The Justice Department issued statements from Rosenstein meant to deny the report. The department also released a statement from an individual who recalled the comment about recording the president but said Rosenstein meant it sarcastically.

Rosenstein arrived at the White House last Monday with the expectation that he would be fired. Instead, the White House said he and Trump would meet last Thursday, after the president returned from New York. But that meeting was postponed until this week after Sanders said Trump wanted to focus on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featuring Kavanaugh and Ford.

Trump and Rosenstein spoke by telephone last week when Trump was in New York. Trump later said Rosenstein had denied the reports during their conversation, and that he'd "certainly prefer not" to fire Rosenstein.

As second in command at the Justice Department, Rosenstein oversees the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference. Trump insists there was "no collusion" between his presidential campaign and Russia. He calls the investigation a "witch hunt."

(KA)