The president continued to discuss the issue with aides and associates on Saturday, and said he was more suspicious than furious about the reports, peppering his inner circle with a round of questions about whether he was being "baited" into taking action that could imperil his presidency because McCabe - a person he detests - took some notes about private conversations, as one ally close to him put it. White House aides who spoke to Trump said he was less angry than they expected.
"McCabe complicates it," the ally said. "He doesn't trust McCabe and thinks McCabe is maybe playing a game with memos - maybe because of his book deal, maybe trying to take down [Trump]. So, he's staying cool, for now."
St. Martin's Press announced Tuesday that it will publish a book by McCabe, "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump," in December.
Inside the top ranks of the Republican Party, there are also discussions about what a Rosenstein firing could mean for this year's midterm elections, which are just weeks away.
Several veteran Republicans communicated to friends at the White House on Saturday that any major upheaval at the Justice Department could trigger a political hurricane for the GOP to weather in an already difficult year. The White House, through various back channels, made clear that no such shake-up was coming, according to two Republicans in touch with Trump administration officials.
Trump has paid close attention to the conservative media's reaction to the story but has not been persuaded by the outraged calls by his sometime confidants, such as Fox News's Jeanine Pirro, to fire Rosenstein - and he has nodded along agreeably as another Fox News anchor, Sean Hannity, waved him off the idea, according to three advisers to the president who were not authorized to speak publicly. White House aides encouraged conservative allies in the media to not provoke the president.
"We are experiencing tonight a massive constitutional crisis. And frankly, this is designed to set up the president," Hannity said on air. "I have a message for the president tonight. Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody."
"If it was up to many of the Fox News hosts, the president would have already fired Mueller, but he hasn't. He takes it in and takes the best course available, under the circumstances," former Trump political aide Sam Nunberg said. "He knows it's very easy to say something on cable, and the reality of being under investigation and the threat of being removed from office."
Trump has kept a closer eye on the reaction of his congressional boosters and staunch Rosenstein critics, such as Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who has pushed for the deputy attorney general's impeachment, the adviser said - and he has noted that Meadows has so far resisted calling for Rosenstein to be fired.