Speed Reads


Trump's favorite Fox News analysts are aggressively pushing him to fire Rod Rosenstein

Former White House strategist Stephen Bannon has been trying to get President Trump's attention with his plan to neuter Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, The Washington Post reports, and since he's on the outs with Trump, Bannon "has huddled in recent days — at his Capitol Hill townhouse, a Washington hotel, and over the phone — with a handful of White House aides, GOP lawmakers, and conservative media figures who speak frequently with Trump." The first step of his plan: Fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

It isn't clear who Bannon has spoken with about his plan, which he is pitching as the least politically damaging way to take the heat off Trump, but Trump confidante Roger Stone told ABC News on Wednesday that the president should fire Rosenstein (and Attorney General Jeff Sessions), and Trump's favorite pundits offered the same counsel on Trump's favorite network, Fox News, Wednesday night. Trump was probably watching, as he tweeted for all his followers to watch Hannity. On the show, Newt Gingrich compared the Rosenstein-approved FBI raid on Trump fixer Michael Cohen as akin to "Stalin" and "the Gestapo in Germany."

Sean Hannity kicked off the show raving about three "Deep State crime families" that are "trying to take down the president," and among his guests were two of Trump's favorite TV lawyers, Joseph diGenova — who almost joined Trump's legal team — and former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, a reliable Trump defender who dined at the White House on Tuesday night, ostensibly to discuss the Middle East, and huddled with Trump aides on Wednesday. MSBNC's Ali Velshi helpfully grabbed the parts of Hannity where Dershowitz and diGenova urged Trump to immediately fire or sideline Rosenstein, but Velshi also noted that Rush Limbaugh is urging Trump not to fire anyone, for the sake of his political survival.

"Are folks not getting that this is all coordinated?" tweeted New York Times Trump watcher Maggie Haberman. "Bannon/diGenova/Dobbs etc."