For Trump, the buck stops elsewhere

Rod Rosenstein is under fire for suggesting — maybe seriously, maybe not — that President Trump be wiretapped. Regardless of whether the suggestion was made seriously, Trump should be outraged by it. And he is outraged. . .at Jeff Sessions.

Fox News reports:

President Trump appeared to blame Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the latest controversy surrounding Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Sunday, saying that Sessions had “hired” Rosenstein to be his second-in-command.

“He was hired by Jeff Sessions,” Trump said in an interview with “The Geraldo Show” on WTAM radio. “I was not involved in that process because, you know, they go out and get their own deputies and the people that work in the department.”

Trump, I’m confident, was not personally involved in selecting Rosenstein, but that doesn’t mean Jeff Sessions selected him. It’s my understanding that Trump’s advisers picked Rosenstein.

I don’t know this for certain. However, I do know Trump is wrong to say that cabinet members invariably select their own deputies. Sometimes, deputies are imposed on them. I believe this happened in the case of Rosenstein though, again, I’m not certain.

I should add that the selection of Rosenstein, judged at the time it was made, was not unreasonable. Rosenstein had an excellent reputation. The person (who persons) who tapped him to be Deputy Attorney General had no reason I know of to suspect that Rosenstein, under pressure, would show such poor judgment as to name a special counsel.

I should also add that President Trump picked Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General. I think it was a fine pick. If Trump thinks otherwise, as clearly he does, he has only himself to blame for Sessions being the Attorney General.

As Harry Truman would say, the buck stops in the Oval Office — or should.

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