House Speaker Paul Ryan is another top Republican to burst President Donald Trump’s bubble after he suggested there is no evidence that FBI planted a spy in the Trump campaign, a theory pushed by the president himself.
“So how do you like the fact they had people infiltrating our campaign?” Trump asked at a recent rally in Nashville, Tennessee. “Can you imagine? Can you imagine?”
SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 23, 2018
On Wednesday, after delivering a statement about economic growth, Ryan was asked whether he agreed with House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy’s dismissal of Trump’s repeated alarms of “Spygate” conspiracy theory.
“Normally I don’t like to comment on classified briefings. Let me say it this way. I think Chairman Gowdy’s initial assessment is accurate,” said the speaker of the House. He did, however, say they were still waiting for more information but added they “have seen no evidence to the contrary of the initial assessment that Chairman Gowdy has made — but I want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get final answers to these questions.”
Gowdy (R-SC) was the only member of the House Intelligence Committee’s majority to review the underlying source material used to compile the so-called “Nunes Memo” alleging FBI used questionable sources and abused surveillance warrant to gather information against the 2016 Trump campaign team.
Both Gowdy and Ryan were also among the handful of top Republicans who attended a classified meeting two weeks ago in the wake of reports that FBI used a mole in its Russian interference investigation.
Gowdy later told Fox News he was even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.”
Trump’s accusations are meant to divert attentions away from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s links to Russian operatives. If the president can convince enough Americans that the FBI has been against him from the start, then the impact of any serious illegal or unethical findings from the Mueller probe would be undermined.
Ryan was also asked whether he thinks Trump should pardon himself, to which he replied in the negative.
“I don’t know the technical answer to that question but obviously the answer is he shouldn’t, and no one is above the law,” he said.
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