During a news conference on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was asked to defend his own comments from last week about how he doesn’t think the Nunes memo has anything to do with President Trump’s efforts to undermine the Mueller investigation.
Ryan, however, wasn’t interested in talking about it.
Manu Raju of CNN referred Ryan back to his comments he made at his previous conference on January 30, when he described the Nunes memo as “a completely separate matter from Bob Mueller’s investigation, and his investigation should be allowed to take its course.”
But Ryan’s comments were at odds with what Trump said on Saturday, when he tweeted that the Nunes memo “totally vindicates ‘Trump’ in probe.”
This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2018
“Was he vindicated in any way?” Raju asked.
Instead of addressing Raju’s question, Ryan ended the press conference within 20 seconds of it leaving his lips.
“Look, let me go back to what I just said — this is about FISA abuse, and this is about holding our government accountable, and this is about Congress doing its job and conducting oversight over the executive branch which in this particular case has been given great power over us at citizens. We need to make sure that that power is used correctly,” Ryan said, before walking off the podium.
That wasn’t the first time in February that Ryan went to extreme lengths to avoid talking about his party’s effort to discredit the FBI. During a news conference no February 1, Ryan was asked to respond to concerns top Democrats have about House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) repeated efforts to weaponize intelligence against Democrats. Within five seconds, Ryan changed the topic to tax cuts.
“I think they’re just playing politics and I think they’re looking for a political distraction is what I get out of that,” Ryan said. “Look, the tax cuts are working, tax reform is working, we’ve got ISIS on the run, things are going well, economic confidence is at a 17 year high. I think they would love nothing more than to play politics and to change the subject.”