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Ryan Backs Gowdy in Blow to President Trump’s ‘Spygate’ Claims

FBI agents should ‘run every lead down’

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., conducts his weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on February 15, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., conducts his weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on February 15, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan backed GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy’s statements last week that the FBI acted properly when it pursued information from an informant in President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign about potential Russian interference in the election, further undercutting Trump’s so-called Spygate theory.

“Chairman Gowdy’s initial assessment is accurate,” Ryan said at the House GOP’s weekly leadership press conference Wednesday. “I want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get final answers to these questions.”

Gowdy, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and sits on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, made waves last week for defending the FBI’s use of an informant within the Trump campaign to follow information streams on possible Russian intrusion into American democratic processes.

Gowdy insisted in multiple television appearances that the president himself was not a subject of the investigation.

Watch: Ryan Backs Gowdy on FBI Use of Informant in Trump Campaign Probe

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Conservative pundits and some former Trump administration officials lambasted him for his comments.

“Based on what I have seen, I don’t know what the FBI could have done or should have done other than run out a lead that someone loosely connected with the campaign was making assertions about Russia,” he said last week on CBS’s “This Morning.”

“I would think you would want the FBI to find whether or not there was any validity to what those people were saying,” Gowdy said.

Ryan did not defend the FBI and Justice Department from recent GOP criticism that the agencies have taken too long to conduct their Russia probe and have failed to notify Congress of their findings in a timely fashion.

“We have some more digging to do,” Ryan said. “We’re waiting for some more document requests, we have some more documents to review. We still have some unanswered questions. It would have been helpful if we got this information earlier.

“As [House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes] said just the other day, if we got all the information we’re looking for, we could wrap this up faster,” Ryan said.

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