Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was reportedly so incensed by the White House blaming him for the firing of FBI Director James Comey that he was ready to "pack his bags" last week, CNN's Dana Bash reported Wednesday.
She told Anderson Cooper that a senior Republican source told her that that Rosenstein's appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel in the Russian probe amounted to "throwing Donald Trump overboard."
"We're talking about politically, and maybe even legally depending on how this goes," she said, adding that the GOP source told her that Rosenstein wanted "to separate himself… from this."
With Mueller's appointment, the source told Bash that Rosenstein was effectively saying: "'You guys are on your own – and you're going to have this guy who has an impeccable reputation and impeccable experience… obviously in a bipartisan way to do this investigation.'"
Bash added that the top Republican source predicted that "it doesn't look like" Comey is going to testify before Congress in light of Mueller's appointment.
"This source says that probably what Bob Mueller will do is shut it down, meaning that he will take stock of everything – including James Comey's memos, including what James Comey has to say – and perhaps prevent him or ask him, his good friend James Comey, not to go and testify.
"He's a private citizen now," Bash said, "so he can kind of do what he wants."
Other CNN reports indicated that the White House learned of Mueller's appointment only shortly before it was announced – and President Trump was meeting with FBI director candidates.
"It's still sinking in," a Trump administration official told the cable network. "We were told about it.
"Not asked about it."
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