House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanLieu rips Ryan after Waffle House shooting: ‘When will you stop silencing us?’ To succeed in Syria, Democrats should not resist Trump policy House Republicans prepare to battle for leadership slots MORE (R-Wis.) said on Wednesday that it was "obviously" inappropriate for President Trump to ask for former FBI Director James Comey's loyalty.

"Obviously, I don't think that it is," Ryan told MSNBC's Greta Van Susteren, when asked whether he thought it was appropriate for a president to ask for an FBI director's loyalty.

Ryan's comments came hours after Comey's opening statement for his Thursday testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee was made public. In the statement, Comey recounts a one-on-one dinner with Trump at the White House in January, in which the president told him, "'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.'"

ADVERTISEMENT
According to his account, Comey explained why the FBI director should remain independent and not pledge his loyalty to the president, telling him that doing so could cause problems for the president down the line.

Ryan seemed to echo Comey's calls for an independent FBI and Justice Department, saying it was "very, very critical" that the nation's top cop remain unaffected by White House influence or loyalty pledges to the president.

Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, marking his first such appearance since Trump abruptly fired him last month.