Paul Ryan says no proof Federal Bureau of Investigation spied on Trump campaign

Paul Ryan

Ryan described as accurate remarks made by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who attended the earlier briefing and told Fox News that "the Federal Bureau of Investigation did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do" in investigating the allegations.

Ryan has joined those disputing President Trump's assertion that federal law enforcement planted a spy inside his campaign, telling reporters Wednesday that he has seen "no evidence" to back up such claims.

Ryan's comments align him with the House Intelligence Committee Republican report on the Russian Federation investigation, in which the GOP lawmakers said they uncovered no evidence of collusion between Trump's team and Russian Federation, just some bad judgment. "We still have some unanswered questions".

"Undercover informant, confidential informant, those are all words I'm familiar with, I've never heard the term spy used", he said, when asked about the president's repeated use of the word "spy". Now the department will let the members "review certain supporting documents that were made available during the prior briefing", a senior Justice Department official told the Post. But in a release, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said the committee is cooperating with the department.

Ryan's comments angered conservatives like Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a vocal critic of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation who suggested Ryan's comments prompted fresh talk of removing Ryan as speaker.

The comments come after Trump insisted in a series of angry tweets last month that the agency planted a spy "to help Crooked Hillary win", referring to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

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Initially, the Justice Department resisted providing Congress with the materials, fearing the source's life would be placed at risk, but it later made a decision to provide members with classified briefings to answer questions. The Justice Department had no comment. During a Fox News interview on Thursday afternoon, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) reacted to leading Republicans denouncing "spygate" by accusing Gowdy and Ryan of aiding the nefarious anti-Trump "deep state".

"In all of this, in any of this, there's been no evidence that there's any collusion between the Trump campaign and the President and Russian Federation", he said.

Ryan said Congress has more digging to do and that he wished they had gotten the information earlier. Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., originally requested documents on the informant in April. Lame Duck Speaker: "Get the hell out of the office, you're going to send us to perdition and destruction in the midterm elections".

Ryan issued a careful warning about the idea of Trump pardoning himself.

"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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