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Exclusive: Conservative group calls for Rod Rosenstein's head

Rod Rosenstein
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Tea Party Patriots, a conservative activist group, is launching an advertising campaign calling on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to "do his job, or resign."

Why this matters: The campaign is modest — initially a six-figure spend on digital and TV in Washington D.C. — but the attack is a canary in the right-wing coal mine. I expect other conservative groups to follow. Such attacks have outraged many in the Justice Department and the FBI.


The ad:

Text of ad:

"Rod Rosenstein.
"A weak careerist at the Justice Department. Protecting liberal Obama holdovers and the Deep State, instead of following the rule of law.
"His incompetence and abuse of power have undermined congressional investigations, led to stonewalling and tarnished the credibility of the Department of Justice.
"Time for him to stand up for the rule of law and stand up for the American people. 
"It’s time for Rod Rosenstein to do his job, or resign."

What we're hearing: A conservative movement leader told me Rosenstein is "becoming a conversation at every conservative gathering.”

Another movement leader told me:

Quote"If there's one personality right now who's unifying the movement it's this guy."

In recent days, major figures in the conservative movement have been emailing around this Wall Street Journal column by Kimberley Strassel. The column suggests — without explicitly stating so — that Rosenstein is part of the left-wing resistance against President Trump:

"The slippery shadow in all this is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal put Mr. Rosenstein in charge of digging into the actions—right or wrong—of the Justice Department and FBI in 2016. Instead of taking up that challenge, he named an old and dear friend of the FBI as special counsel, and directed him only to look at Mr. Trump. And Mr. Rosenstein appears to have signed up as an active participant in the effort to thwart any congressional investigation of the other side of the issue."

Update: CNP Action, a sister group of the Council for National Policy, an influential group among conservative leaders, has sent the Tea Party Patriots ad to its allies. The email urges them to keep applying pressure to Rosenstein and to spread the word to other activists:

"Call DAG Rosenstein at (202) 514-2000 and demand he commit publicly to doing his job and stop the politicization of critically important institutions or resign immediately."
Haley Britzky 2 hours ago
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Zuckerberg happy to testify if it is "the right thing to do”

A portrait of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
A portrait of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would be "happy" to testify before Congress if it was "the right thing to do," in an interview with CNN's Laurie Segall.

Why it matters: Facebook has been under the microscope lately for what Zuckerberg called earlier today the "Cambridge Analytica situation." Zuckerberg said if he as the "person...who will have the most knowledge," than he'd be the one to testify in the face of Facebook's data-collection situation.

Ina Fried 2 hours ago
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Zuckerberg: Facebook may have influenced election, may need to be regulated

Zuckerberg at F8 in 2017
Zuckerberg at F8 in 2017. Photo: Facebook

In a flurry of media interviews on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he is willing to testify before Congress, that he can't guarantee that Russians didn't get their hands on Facebook user data and that he isn't sure Facebook shouldn't be regulated.

Why it matters: After remaining silent for several days, Mark Zuckerberg has given interviews with outlets including CNN, Wired, the New York Times and Recode. The interviews answer some, but definitely not all of the questions left unanswered by his earlier Facebook post.