Published: Fri, June 08, 2018

Paul Ryan Contradicts Donald Trump on Spygate and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Paul Ryan Contradicts Donald Trump on Spygate and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Ryan told reporters he's seen "seen no evidence to the contrary" of Gowdy's assessment that no such spy was planted.

Most experts say his claims of the right to self-pardon, and accusation that the Mueller investigation is unconstitutional, lack strong legal foundation.

Still, Ryan said Congress has "more digging to do". Until Wednesday, no GOP lawmakers were publicly defending Gowdy, but Ryan opened the door for party members to openly criticize the president. During a press briefing last week, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded to Gowdy's comments by saying "clearly, there's still cause for concern that needs to be looked at".

Asked by a reporter Wednesday if Trump does have that power, Ryan replied that he doesn't know the "technical answer" to the question.

Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL), a top member of the House Intelligence Committee, has come out strongly against President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated "Spygate" claims.

Ryan has been a frequent target of Democratic criticism for his role in aiding House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes' in his fight with the Justice Department for classified documents, including the latest dispute over documents related to an confidential source who spoke to Trump advisers as part of the FBI's counterintelligence investigation.

Gowdy added, in a separate interview on "CBS This Morning", that such informants are used all the time and "the Federal Bureau of Investigation, if they were at the table this morning, they would tell you that Russian Federation was the target and Russia's intentions toward our country were the target".

Speaking on Carlson's primetime show Wednesday night, Swalwell denied that the FBI's alleged informant - veteran spy and academic Stefan Halper - actually spied on the Trump campaign, arguing that "spying is what you do against an enemy". "If we got all the information we were looking for, we could wrap this up faster", Ryan added.

His comments prompted a wave of push back from Trump allies, including the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who called him "uninformed".

"I have no disagreement with the description Trey Gowdy gave", Burr said. "Obviously the answer is he shouldn't [pardon himself] and no one is above the law", Ryan cautioned.

"You've just confirmed whatever Republican leaders say you believe".

At the start of the week, Trump tweeted that he has the "absolute" right to pardon himself, but wouldn't because he's "done nothing wrong".

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