Rosenstein told Trump he's not a target of investigation of his personal lawyer: Sources

PHOTO: Rod Rosenstein, listens during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Washington, March 7, 2017. President Donald Trump makes remarks in the Oval Office prior to signing the bipartisan Interdict Act, Jan. 10, 2018.PlayAP| Getty Images, FILE
WATCH Trump and Cohen's lawyers try to keep seized documents from prosecutors

Embattled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Donald Trump a week ago that he is not a target of the investigation of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, two sources close to Trump told ABC News.

Interested in Donald Trump?

Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

Rosenstein on his own brought up the probe of Cohen to the president during that meeting, sources said.

The Department of Justice declined to comment on the matter.

PHOTO: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, speaks to the media with an announcement that the office of special counsel Robert Mueller says a grand jury has charged 13 Russian nationals and several Russian entities, Feb. 16, 2018, in Washington.Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, speaks to the media with an announcement that the office of special counsel Robert Mueller says a grand jury has charged 13 Russian nationals and several Russian entities, Feb. 16, 2018, in Washington.

The president has repeatedly threatened both publicly and privately to fire Rosenstein, as he has also done with both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties to Trump associates.

However, on Wednesday, Trump seemed to take a different tack, responding to a reporter’s question about the fate of the three officials by saying “they're still here.”

PHOTO: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trumps longtime personal lawyer, leaves federal court in New York, April 16, 2018.Jeenah Moon/The New York Times/Redux
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, leaves federal court in New York, April 16, 2018.

“They’ve been saying I’m going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months,” Trump said while in Florida. “And they’re still here. We want to get the investigation over with, done with, put it behind us. And we have to get back to business.”

At the same time, as ABC News has reported, the president has been "less inclined" to sit down for an interview with Mueller since an FBI raid on Cohen's home, office and hotel room on April 9, according to sources.

Trump's legal team last met with Mueller's office about a potential Trump interview on the same day as the Cohen raid.

Deputy U.S. Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein participates in a summit, at the Justice Department, Feb. 2, 2018, in Washington | President Donald Trump visits Joint Interagency Task Force South at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla., April 19, 2018.Getty Images
Deputy U.S. Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein participates in a summit, at the Justice Department, Feb. 2, 2018, in Washington | President Donald Trump visits Joint Interagency Task Force South at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla., April 19, 2018.

Now with longtime Trump friend and surrogate Rudy Giuliani's joining the Trump legal team, he will be part of all negotiations with Mueller's office going forward.

The former New York City mayor and federal prosecutor says his job is to help Mueller get “what he needs to wrap it up” and to “try to negotiate a way to get this over with."

Giuliani's joining comes after the Trump team searched for several weeks to fill a void left by the abrupt departure of the president's lead attorney, John Dowd. Dowd quit in part because he felt the President was taking less of his advice, sources told ABC News.

ABC News' Jack Date and Jordyn Phelps contributed to this report.

Comments