Strolling past red-uniformed guardsmen at Windsor Castle on a gloriously sunny Friday, the queen of England at his side, President Trump was savoring the moment, broadcast live to his supporters back home.
Then television screens across the nations switched to reveal a second display of authority: Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general and the president’s legal Cassandra, with the latest news from the investigation that Mr. Trump calls “a witch hunt.” In terse terms, Mr. Rosenstein laid out the most detailed account yet of how the Russian government tried to influence the election that brought Mr. Trump to power.
After months of attacks by Mr. Trump and his allies on the investigation he leads, Mr. Rosenstein described a Russian influence operation that had to be blessed by the Kremlin, and named the perpetrators who carried it out. He did it just three days before Mr. Trump is due to meet in Helsinki with the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. And he added what some saw as pointed messages to Mr. Trump, who he said has “got to make some very important decisions for our country.”