Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Sunday that President Donald Trump has not directed the Justice Department to investigate "particular people," after Trump said at a rally Thursday that prosecutors should look at Hillary Clinton’s "33,000 deleted emails."
Asked on "Fox News Sunday" if he viewed Trump’s comment as an order, Rosenstein said, "If the president wants to give orders to us … he does that privately and then if we have any feedback we provide it to him."
"The president has not directed us to investigate particular people," he said. "That wouldn’t be right. That’s not the way we operate."
Trump made the comment about Clinton’s emails at a West Virginia rally where he railed against the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.
Trump’s comment was a reference to Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. During last year’s election, Trump called on Russia to find "the 30,000 emails that are missing."
Responding to a question about special counsel Robert Mueller expanding the investigation to Trump’s finances, Rosenstein said the Justice Department doesn’t engage in "fishing expeditions." (Mueller is answering to Rosenstein since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russia investigation.)
If Mueller finds something outside the scope of the investigation as outlined in an agreement with Rosenstein, "he needs to come to the acting attorney general, at this time me, for permission to expand his investigation."
"But we don’t talk about that publicly," he said.