Then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe went to a bureau lawyer with his concern regarding Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s comment about wiretapping the President, indicating that McCabe, at least, did not take the suggestion as a joke.
According to a Tuesday evening Washington Post report, McCabe asked lawyer James Baker how the bureau should respond to the dramatic suggestion. According to unnamed sources, Baker dismissed the idea. He previously confirmed to Congress that when he first heard of Rosenstein’s statement, it was presented to him as a serious suggestion.
Rosenstein has maintained that the original report on his comment was “factually inaccurate” and other DOJ sources, plus Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, have said he was joking or being sarcastic.
According to the Washington Post, Baker did not remember if the FBI official who told him of Rosenstein’s comment was McCabe or Lisa Page.
Rosenstein reportedly thought he was going to be fired over the comment when he was summoned to the White House two weeks ago, but Trump has said since that he has “no plans” to fire Rosenstein.
Some think Trump wouldn’t cut Rosenstein loose until after the midterms to avoid the appearance of tampering with the special counsel’s probe, which could infuriate voters.