GOP House Members Split on Trump's Russia Claims

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan FBI Did Nothing Wrong Spying on Trump Campaign AP

Joe Scarborough praised House Speaker Paul Ryan Thursday morning for showing a "sign of life" by pushing back on President Donald Trump's claim that he can pardon himself. Following a meeting with Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department officials last week, the House Oversight Committee chairman said he's "even more convinced" that using an informant to investigate potential Russian meddling in Trump's campaign was entirely appropriate. He added that the briefing also suggested that the informant had "nothing to do with Donald Trump".

Ryan, R-Wis., said he thought "Chairman [Trey] Gowdy's initial assessment is accurate". "As long as we have Republicans in the leadership positions who think it's okay to have Orwellian spies spy on presidential campaigns of one party, then we have bigger problems than just the briefing". Branding the effort "spygate" on Twitter, Trump said it was "starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in USA history".

"It would have been helpful if we'd gotten this information earlier". "We have some more digging to do".

"This is about Russian Federation and what they did and making sure they don't do it again", Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters, in comments excoriating federal law enforcement agencies for not being more forthcoming with documents that lawmakers had requested until Ryan personally intervened. Ryan said he wasn't sure about the "technical" legal question, but the speaker was unusually unequivocal in rejecting Trump's suggestion. During an interview with Fox Business Network on Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) openly mused about removing Ryan from his role as House Speaker ahead of November's elections. Instead, some are carrying water for a Justice Department that has already resisted congressional oversight, misrepresented material facts to a FISA court, improperly redacted documents and failed to disclose spying on a presidential campaign.

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"I have no disagreement with the description Trey Gowdy gave", Burr said. 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". "The sooner the Department of Justice complies with all of our document requests, which are legitimate document requests, the better this is going to be for everybody".

Asked by reporters if pardoning himself would be a wise move for Trump, Ryan answered, "I think obviously the answer is he shouldn't".

On the pardon issue, Ryan joined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in sending a subtle message to Trump.

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