The second is that it's simply difficult to see Rosenstein being serious about this. He's got a reputation as a very by-the-book law enforcement official. Indeed, any law enforcement official talking about this would be highly unorthodox.
All of that said, this was at a time when Rosenstein reportedly felt Trump used him and his memo as a false pretext for firing then-FBI Director James Comey. Emotions run high, and perhaps that's what happened with Rosenstein.
Or maybe he was just being sarcastic.
2. Who is the source? And what is their agenda?
Almost instantly, talk turned to whether Trump would fire Rosenstein, which seems like something that's been on his to-do list for a very long time. Some even accused the Times of serving as stooges for the White House to build a pretext for that, much as Trump allegedly used Rosenstein to fire Comey.
That's all speculation - based on little besides suspicion and partisanship. But what's clear is that if the White House is behind this somehow, its agenda is pretty evident, and that's to fire Rosenstein and/or send a message.
If anybody else put this out there - or (gasp!) it came about simply via good, ambitious reporting - the end result might be the same, but it won't be so certain. If this emanated from McCabe or someone who wanted to build on the 25th Amendment narrative (more on that later), that would also make sense.
3. Does Trump fire Rosenstein?
That certainly just became more possible, and The Post has reported Trump asked advisers Friday whether he should do it. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it will happen or that it's a wise decision.
Firing Rosenstein has long been a political minefield, and that remains the case. Getting a replacement who might be friendlier is hardly a sure bet, and the move could still carry political blowback from Republicans worried about Trump blowing up the Russia investigation.