No matter how many times Republicans insisted that they could not support the bombastic and horrifying statements by Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaigns, nearly all of them fell right in line once he became the new GOP president. Other than those like John McCain, who had enough shame to at least be embarrassed by the man draining their party of any credibility they had left.
Outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) addressed one of the many wild claims made by Trump on Twitter about the “spy gate” conspiracy theory he uses to deflect from the growing evidence that his 2016 presidential campaign may have colluded with Russian government operatives.
Asked about this deflection tactic, Ryan told reporters:
‘I think Chairman Gowdy’s initial assessment’s accurate, I think, but we have some more digging to do. We’re waiting for some more document requests. It would have been helpful if we got this information earlier.’
Paul Ryan splits with Trump, says "no evidence" FBI spied on president’s campaign https://t.co/a9d0WnxIyu
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 6, 2018
While Rep. Ryan may have tried to dress up his agreement with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) in order to avoid criticism from the president and his supporters, Gowdy, who has also announced his retirement from politics, was far more firm in his stance that the FBI acted appropriately by using an informant to investigate the Russian attempts to upend the American democratic system to help elect Trump.
‘I am 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.’
Paul Ryan just agreed with Trey Gowdy that Trump is lying about #Spygate. Somewhere in the Private Residence, a furiously flung remote control just crashed into a vat of Horsey Sauce, splattering the Monroe silver.pic.twitter.com/YjPa2jr81d
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) June 6, 2018
Ryan tried to appease Trump allies like Devin Nunes (R-CA), who has muddied the waters around the Russia investigation, by mentioning the Department of Justice reports that justice employees have been reluctant to provide to a committee that hasn’t been honest or even concerned with national security in terms of their rhetoric on such classified information.
‘As Chairman Nunes said just the other day, if we got all the information we’re looking for, we could wrap this up faster. But I have seen no evidence to the contrary of, 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.’
Trump hasn’t yet ranted about Gowdy’s defection, but with the outpouring of disagreement with the president’s favorite conspiracy theories from members of his own party, the Twitter tantrums are sure to come.
See video of Ryan’s full statements below:
Featured image via Getty/Aaron P. Bernstein