Officials familiar with the matter describe friction on the Justice Department's fourth and fifth floors, home to the suite of offices belonging to the deputy attorney general and the attorney general, respectively, in part because of Rosenstein's handling of the Russian Federation matter.
With Sessions having recused himself from the probe, Rosenstein now technically oversees Mueller, and only he can directly fire the special counsel. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the investigators were looking into possible obstruction of justice.
Mr Trump also tweeted on Friday morning: "After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my 'collusion with the Russians, ' nobody has been able to show any proof". Trump's tweets come after the top lawyer for his transition team warned the organization's officials to preserve all records and other materials related to the Russian Federation probe. The Post has also reported that Mueller is investigating the business dealings of Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
In a statement many have described as "odd", Rosenstein warned the USA public to "exercise caution" before trusting media reports citing anonymous officials, despite the fact that the Trump administration continues to use them in official statements to the media.
Rosenstein is overseeing the probe by Mueller, which has reportedly expanded to include whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired Comey and allegedly pressured intelligence officials on the Russian Federation investigation.
Among the communications sought are those involving Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman whose work for a pro-Moscow Ukrainian political party drew scrutiny during the campaign, and Carter Page, a campaign advisor who took a trip to Moscow during the campaign, as well as fired national security advisor Mike Flynn. However, Trump later told NBC News' Lester Holt that he had already chose to fire Comey before that memo was written.
The president's associates, who insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the his views, say some of his ire is aimed at deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and investigative special counsel Robert Mueller, both of whom the president believes are biased against him.
If Rosenstein recuses himself from oversight of the special counsel investigation, that role would fall to the Justice Department's No. 3 official, newly confirmed Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand. He hadn't been asked by the White House to release the statement, which blasted the media's use of anonymous sources for major political stories, CNN reported.
As presidential tweets go, this one's a real doozy, and it's worth unpacking because the details will have real consequences. "The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations".
The obstruction of justice investigation into Trump began days after Comey was sacked, according to people familiar with the matter, the Washington Post said.
The early Friday tweet revealed there may be an internal riff between Trump and Rosenstein. Amber Phillips of the Washington Post wrote, "About the only thing Sessions can recall for sure is that he didn't do anything wrong".
Here is what I found interesting: Comey testified that members of the Senate and Congress also knew that President Trump was not, and had never been, under investigation.