Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein characterized the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections as "appropriate and independent," in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Wednesday.
Rosenstein's comments distance him from the views of President Donald Trump, who has frequently derided the investigation led by Robert Mueller as a baseless "witch hunt."
"People are entitled to be frustrated, I can accept that," Rosenstein said in the interview. "But at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence and that it was an appropriate use of resources."
Rumors swirled last month that Rosenstein was preparing to resign after The New York Times reported that he had secretly recorded Trump and questioned his fitness for office. But Trump said last week that he has no plans to fire Rosenstein, who denies the allegations by the Times.
"The president knows that I am prepared to do this job as long as he wants me to do this job," he said.
Rosenstein assumed oversight of the special counsel investigation last year after Attorney General Jeff Sessions stepped down from the role.
"I believe that our department and our office have been appropriately managing that investigation," Rosenstein said.