Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe Wednesday as "appropriate and independent," the Wall Street Journal reports.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly called Mueller's investigation of possible collusion between Trump associates and Russians seeking to meddle in the 2016 election a "witch hunt" that is "rigged."
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The Wall Street Journal
Trump appointed Rosenstein as deputy attorney general but has expressed extreme frustration with him for months, partly over his decision to hire Mueller last year.
"I committed I would ensure the investigation was appropriate and independent and reached the right result, whatever it may be," Rosenstein told the Journal in a rare interview. "I believe I have been faithful to that."
Rosenstein added "the public will have confidence" in Mueller's findings.
"People are entitled to be frustrated, I can accept that," Rosenstein told the Journal.
"But at the end of the day," Rosenstein said, "the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence and that it was an appropriate use of resources."
In July the Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian nationals as part of Mueller's probe.
"I have a solemn responsibility to make sure that cases like that are pursued and prosecuted, and I'm pleased the President has been supportive of that," Rosenstein told the Journal.
Rosenstein's future seemed uncertain last month after the New York Times and others reported he secretly suggested recording the President and discussed recruiting Cabinet members to remove Trump from office. Rosenstein has denied the allegations.
"The President knows that I am prepared to do this job as long as he wants me to do this job," Rosenstein told the Journal. "You serve at the pleasure of the President, and there's never been any ambiguity about that in my mind."
"I believe that our department and our office have been appropriately managing that investigation," Rosenstein said.