Amid a firestorm swirling around Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the de facto supervisor of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday there is "a bureaucratic coup" at work against President Donald Trump.
"There is a bureaucratic coup going on at the Department of Justice and the FBI and somebody needs to look at it," Sen. Graham told "Fox News Sunday."
Graham was responding to reports Rosenstein discussed in May 2017 secretly recording Trump – according to one person present at the time, who claimed Rosenstein was just being sarcastic – and weighing the 25th amendment to move to remove President Trump from office.
"I don't know what Rosenstein did, but I know what [Deputy FBI Director Andrew] McCabe or [federal prosecutor Lisa] Page and [FBI agent Peter] Strzok did: They tried to destroy this president," Graham told host Chris Wallace. "If Rosenstein's involved, he should be fired. If he's not involved, leave him alone."
Rosenstein swiftly denied both claims.
"He shouldn't fire Rosenstein unless you believe Rosenstein's lying, he said he didn’t do the things alleged," Graham said. "But there's a bureaucratic coup against President Trump being undiscovered here.
"Before the election the people in question tried to taint the election, tip it Clinton’s favor. After the election, they're trying to undermine the president."
Neither Rosenstein, President Trump, nor DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz should be making decisions on reports of this "coup," Graham said.
"We need a special counsel to look at this, not Mr. Horowitz, the IG," Graham added. "Rosenstein is doing the country a great disservice here by not appointing a special counsel to look at all of this."
Rosenstein's comments were first reported by The New York Times, prompting Rosenstein to issue a statement denying the claims.
"I never pursued or authorized recording the president and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the president is absolutely false," Rosenstein's statement read.
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