Speaker of the House and the Representative to Congress Paul Ryan (R-WI 1st) was one of the first to react to former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday morning, saying he shares the President’s frustration with the whole situation.
“First, I think people now realize why the president is so frustrated,” Rep. Ryan said in a news conference. “When the FBI director tells him on three different occasions he’s not under investigation, yet the speculation swirls around the political system that he is, that’s frustrating. Of course the president is frustrated and I think the American people now know why he was so frustrated. Because this speculation was allowed to swirl when he was being directly told by the FBI director he wasn’t under investigation.”
Ryan also addressed comments President Trump made in private to Comey while he was FBI Director that Comey said alarmed him, including expressing his hope Comey could drop the FBI investigation into former NSA Director Gen. Mike Flynn the day after Flynn resigned. Comey told the panel he did not believe the President was ordering him to end the investigation and it would be up to others to decide if he was attempting to obstruct justice, but said he did find the comments inappropriate.
Rep. Ryan reacted by saying, “Look at far as the conversations and all of that, I’m not going to speculate on any of this. I would just add, that of course there needs to be a degree of independence between DOJ, FBI and a White House and a line of communications established. The President’s new at this. He’s new to government. And so he probably wasn’t steeped in the long running protocols that established the relationships between DOJ, FBI and White Houses. He’s just new to this. And so I think, what I got out of that testimony is we now know why he was so frustrated when the FBI director told him three times there’s no investigation of him, yet that speculation was allowed to continue. So obviously we know now why he was frustrated.”