AP

President Donald Trump can’t actually come out and say he’s trying to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over the Russia investigation, but his lackeys are always happy to step in.

The president came pretty close on Friday to revealing his thoughts on Rosenstein, who has overseen the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself in March of last year.

On the same day that Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee publicly released the now–infamous Nunes memo that was supposed to take down the Mueller investigation but collapsed under the weight of its own stupidity in less than 24 hours, Trump tweeted an attack on top FBI and Justice Department leadership.

“The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans - something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. Rank & File are great people!” Trump tweeted.

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Asked by a reporter at the White House if he planned to fire Rosenstein, Trump cryptically responded, “You figure that one out.”

But there really isn’t much to figure out on this one, particularly in light of Trump’s attempt to fire Mueller last June, which failed when White House counsel Donald McGahn threatened to quit rather than implement Trump’s order.

Now, a group called “Tea Party Patriots Action” is doing Trump’s bidding by releasing an outrageous ad accusing Rosenstein, a Republican, of abuse of power and “protecting liberal Obama holdovers and the ‘deep state.’” Remember, Rosenstein was appointed as U.S. attorney in Maryland by George W. Bush in 2005 and was confirmed in the Senate as deputy AG last April by a vote of 94–6, as The New Yorker reported.

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According to Axios’ Jonathan Swan, the group’s ad campaign is “initially a six-figure spend on digital and TV in Washington D.C.,” but Swan added, “I expect other conservative groups to follow.”

Referring to Rosenstein, an ominous voice in the ad warns: “His incompetence and abuse of power have undermined congressional investigations, led to stonewalling and tarnished the credibility of the Department of Justice. Time for him to stand up for the rule of law and stand up for the American people. It’s time for Rod Rosenstein to do his job, or resign.”

Sounds a lot like what everyone’s saying about Trump.

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