Paul Ryan: 'Let's Make This Clear -There Is No Collusion'

Schaff for The New York Times

Schaff for The New York Times

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Wednesday sided with House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) over House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) when asked about Donald Trump's unfounded "spygate" claims.

"I will be the first to say, God bless Paul Ryan for speaking out and sending a message, as speaker, to other Republicans who don't believe it right now, that no man is above the law", the "Morning Joe" co-host said.

Both Gowdy and Ryan said publicly that during a recent classified briefing, they received no information substantiating Trump's claims, which the president has repeatedly invoked on social media and during his speeches in an effort to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of his campaign.

"Chairman Gowdy's initial assessment is accurate", Ryan said.

"We have some more documents to review, we still have some unanswered questions", Ryan said. "We still have someone to answer questions".

The FBI was looking into Russian interference in the United States election and that line of inquiry led them to Trump, he said. So don't tell me about Gowdy and Nunes.

"I want to run every lead down and make sure we get the final answers to the questions".

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It also puts Gowdy at odds with House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who has been a sharp and vocal critic of the Justice Department and its handling of the Russian Federation investigation.

"In all of this, in any of this, there has been no evidence that there is any collusion between the Trump campaign and". Ryan on Wednesday agreed.

Compare that with Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

"What is the point of saying that there was a spy in the campaign when there was none?" Rooney, who has served three terms in office and is not seeking re-election in November, told Politico on Wednesday.

Democratic congressional leaders have said that giving Trump or his lawyers access to the materials would set a risky precedent for an ongoing investigation and have asked the Justice Department to let them know if they do give that access. In a statement, the Justice Department said the department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation "are prepared to brief members on certain questions specifically raised by the Speaker and other members".

Ryan said Thursday that next week is not soon enough. "We are not going to budge". I've got more experience than the two of them by ten.

"Well, I know - that's why I started out by saying when you got Republicans that think it's okay to spy on their presidential campaign that they didn't support really whole hog, then that is a major problem", Gohmert replied.

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