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Trump blasts 'terrible' Chicago crime, but figures are down

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI  AFP

Rosenstein, whose future at the Justice Department has been steeped in drama, is planning to fly with President Trump on Air Force One to an event in Florida on Monday, according to an official familiar with his plans. They did talk, for about 45 minutes, but not alone, a White House spokesman said.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police is the world's largest professional association for police leaders.

"I have directed the Attorney General's office to immediately go to the great city of Chicago to help straighten out the awful shooting wave", he said.

Should Rosenstein quit or be fired, his departure would be nearly certain to raise controversy, as he is the top Justice Department official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation to sway the 2016 election.

Asked by a reporter if he had any plans to fire him, Trump said: "No I don't, no". "I look forward to flying with him". That will be very nice.

Rosenstein has denied the reports saying in a statement that he "never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false".

Washington was briefly abuzz on September 24 when Rosenstein headed to the White House to meet with chief of staff John Kelly, but reports that the retired Marine Corps general was handing him a pink slip turned out to be inaccurate. The deputy attorney general left the plane walking side by side with the White House chief of staff, John Kelly.

President Donald Trump touted his commitment to law enforcement in Orlando today, urging Chicago to adopt controversial "stop-and-frisk" policies and calling the critics and accusers of newly appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh "evil people".

Trump had previously indicated he would prefer to keep Rosenstein in his post, but offered no definitive indication of Rosenstein's fate until his comments on Monday morning. Advisers had also cautioned Trump against doing anything dramatic in the weeks before the midterm elections next month, suggesting Rosenstein's job is safe at least for now. Democrats believe it would raise questions about whether Trump would shut down the Mueller probe, which could energize their voters in House and Senate races.

But even as Trump has chose to leave Rosenstein in place - for now - the matter of what Rosenstein said and proposed doing likely will remain a political issues heading into the homestretch of the midterms - and beyond.

Trump and Rosenstein were scheduled to meet late last month following reports that Rosenstein wanted to wiretap the president early in his tenure.

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