President Trump will meet with Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, on Thursday to discuss reports that Mr. Rosenstein talked about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office, Sarah Sanders, the press secretary, said on Monday.
The announcement came just hours after the revelation that Mr. Rosenstein was considering resigning, which set off a flurry of speculation about who would replace him at the Justice Department, where Mr. Rosenstein oversees the Russia investigation.
Ms. Sanders, in a statement, said that Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Trump had “an extended conversation” about the reports — including the fact that Mr. Rosenstein had discussed secretly taping the president. She said the two men will meet on Thursday when the president returns to Washington from New York, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly.
Over the weekend, Mr. Rosenstein called a White House official and said he was considering quitting, and a person close to the White House said he was resigning. On Monday morning, after again calling John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, to discuss the prospect of his resignation, Mr. Rosenstein headed to the White House to meet with Mr. Kelly.
But Mr. Rosenstein later departed the White House, escorted by Mr. Kelly, with his fate at the Justice Department still unclear.
A departure by Mr. Rosenstein would likely thrust the administration into further turmoil just weeks before November’s midterm elections. As the top Justice Department official overseeing the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, Mr. Rosenstein had long been the target of Mr. Trump’s bitter grievance about what he calls a politically motivated witch hunt.
Mr. Rosenstein has been a fierce defender of Mr. Mueller, repeatedly refusing to consider firing him despite accusations by Mr. Trump and his allies that the special counsel is part of a Democratic conspiracy to undermine his presidency. His potential departure prompted immediate questions about whether Mr. Trump would seek next to topple Mr. Mueller, a move he tried to orchestrate last year, only to be talked down by his White House counsel.
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SOURCE: New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Maggie Haberman