Trump's comments followed a revelation published by the New York Times about an attempted palace coup orchestrated by the Deputy Attorney General during the spring of 2017. After Trump cited a letter written by Rosenstein as justification for firing former FBI Director James Comey back in May 2017, Rosenstein reportedly felt embittered and "used" by the president. So he sought revenge by attempting to persuade members of the Trump cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment and remove Trump from office. Rosenstein's plot quickly fizzled, but not before the deputy AG had suggested that the conspirators should attempt to surreptitiously record the president in the Oval Office.
News of the conspiracy, which was reportedly drawn from memos written by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired earlier this year and may face criminal charges after purportedly lying to the DOJ inspector general, has provoked widespread calls for Rosenstein's ouster.