Trump demanded loyalty from another Justice official

Robert Mueller.   Thomson Reuters

But on Trump's query about being on the "team", Rosenstein replied: "Of course, we're all on your team, Mr. President", CNN reported.

In a December interview with the New York Times, Trump also praised former Attorney General Eric Holder for showing loyalty to President Obama: "I don't want to get into loyalty, but I will tell you that, I will say this: Holder protected President Obama".

At first, Comer - a member of the House Oversight Committee - tried to dodge the question. Rosenstein had apparently called the meeting to ask for Trump's support in turning down document requests from House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, who has written a widely-disputed memo that claims the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation improperly spied on the Trump campaign.

But as the two talked, the president allegedly asked Rosenstein about the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation and where it was headed.

The meeting took place just days before Rosenstein was scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. Knowing Rosenstein personally, I have high confidence that he will make what he thinks is the best decision for the country-the same may not be true of his replacement (or of the replacement attorney general, should Sessions be fired). Trump reportedly asked Rosenstein.

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Tuesday that Trump had not yet "seen or been briefed on the memo".

Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has routinely clashed with and criticized Trump, suggested that firing Rosenstein would provide the president the same dire results as former FBI Director James Comey's abrupt firing.

So what do the president's questions mean? Comey did not pledge loyalty, and after a few additional tense interactions with Trump, he was sacked in May 2017.

White House chief of staff John Kelly later notified the Justice Department that the President would not help block access to the documents.

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