The New York Times and The Washington Post said that Rosenstein was preparing to be dismissed, following the publication of earlier reports that he had discussed ways to remove Trump over incompetence.
Trump told Geraldo Rivera in an interview aired Monday that he's looking at what, if anything, to do about Rosenstein's reported actions. Instead, it seems Rosenstein was not in imminent danger of being fired, and his meeting with Kelly included a phone call with Trump so that Rosenstein could give his response to The New York Times's story.
The White House used Rosenstein's memo to justify Comey's firing.
The news comes days after The New York Times reported that Rosenstein suggested a year ago that he secretly record Trump to "expose the chaos consuming the administration" and discussed "recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit". His statements, however, did not deny that Rosenstein raised the prospect of using the 25th amendment or a wire to record the president.
Investigative reporter Judith Miller said it's less likely that the Rosenstein reports are "totally fabricated" and more likely that information is being leaked for political and partisan purposes.
The results of Mueller's expanded investigation have already shaken Trump to his core, the writer noted. We counted about 20 repeats, many of which came on a loop as ace NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams was breaking down Rosenstein's job situation.
Blake goes on to note that the White House earlier this year claimed that former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin willingly resigned, whereas Shulkin has insisted that he was sacked and did not resign voluntarily.
Before named by Trump to serve as the No. 2 to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Rosenstein served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.
The Analysis: President Trump's endeavor to obstruct justice spans several months and includes efforts to fire Mueller as well as Rosenstein.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump and Rosenstein had "an extended conversation" Monday "to discuss the recent news stories" at Rosenstein's request.
The reported conversation about possibly secretly recording the president took place at a tense May 2017 meeting during the tumultuous period that followed Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey. In May, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to look into Russian interference.
Sessions withdrew from the Russian Federation inquiry soon after he took office, to Trump's dismay, and Rosenstein later appointed Mueller.
But when asked if he believes the President should fire Rosenstein, Hatch said, "That's up to the President".
Likewise, some of Trump's advisers at Fox News, including Sean Hannity, have warned him it's a trap.
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose private memos document comments made by Rosenstein, said Monday he he was concerned that a Rosenstein departure would put the investigation at risk.