A spokesman for the White House said Friday evening that President Trump has no plans to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
"I'm saying it on behalf of the White House, and that's that no changes are going to be made at the Department of Justice," White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said on CNN. "We fully expect Rod Rosenstein to continue on as the deputy attorney general."
He was responding the questions about his bosses' evasive comment to reporters earlier in the day after he allowed the release of a controversial memo from the House Intelligence Committee outlining alleged abuses of secret surveillance by the FBI and Justice Department.
“You figure that one out,” Trump said when asked if he had confidence in Rosenstein.
Hours later, Shah told CNN's Erin Burnett that "there has been no change in the president's confidence" in regards to Rosenstein.
Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from Russia-related investigations, Rosenstein is the DOJ official who has the authority to fire Mueller. Mueller's inquiry, which Trump has characterized as a "witch hunt," includes a look into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.
Rosenstein is mentioned twice in the House Intelligence Committee memo: when he signed off on one renewal of a federal court surveillance warrant against former Trump adviser Carter Page and as someone who worked “closely” with former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr.
Top congressional Democrats warned Trump on Friday against using memo as a pretext to fire Rosenstein and therefore halt the Russia investigation, creating a “constitutional crisis.”