Ryan has full confidence in Trump

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan: Graham-Cassidy 'best, last chance' to repeal ObamaCare Ryan: Americans want to see Trump talking with Dem leaders Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Wis.) said Wednesday he had full confidence in President Trump as a handful of GOP lawmakers called for an independent commission or special prosecutor to probe a series of controversies related to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

“I do,” Ryan replied when a reporter shouted a question at the end of his news conference about whether he had complete confidence in the beleaguered president

Before speaking with reporters, Ryan told rank-and-file Republicans in a closed-door meeting that he supported the ongoing House and Senate Intelligence panels’ investigations into Russia hacking, as well as a third being carried out by the FBI.

The Speaker also backed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s request for a memo reportedly written by ousted FBI Director James Comey detailing a meeting with Trump in which the president asked him to halt a probe into one of Trump’s associates.

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Ryan later read a similar statement to reporters, a rare scripted moment for Ryan that highlighted the seriousness of the matter for Trump and the GOP. 

“We need the facts. It is obvious there are some people out there who want to harm the president and that means before rushing to judgment we get all the pertinent information,” Ryan told reporters. “The Oversight and Government Reform Committee has appropriately requested this memo and I’m sure  we’re going to want to hear from Mr. Comey about why, if this happened as he allegedly describes, why didn’t he take action at the time. …

“Our job is to be responsible, sober and focused only on gathering the facts,” he continued. “That is what Congress does in conducting oversight of the executive branch.”

GOP leaders, accompanied by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin BradyKevin BradyOvernight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea Week ahead in finance: Clock ticking for GOP on tax reform Liberal groups want Mnuchin off GOP tax group following airplane controversies MORE (R-Texas), kicked off their news conference focused on tax reform. But all the questions Ryan was asked Wednesday centered on the Russia probe, Trump’s firing of Comey and the Speaker’s confidence in the commander in chief. 

Ryan insisted Republicans won’t be distracted from enacting the legislative agenda that they promised during the 2016 campaign.

“We can’t deal with speculation and innuendo and there’s clearly a lot of politics being played. Our job is to get the facts,” the Speaker said. 

“We’re going to walk and chew gum at the same time. We’re going to keep doing our job, we’re going to keep passing our bills, we’re going to keep advancing our reforms that we were elected to advance … and that’s what we’ll be judged [on] in 2018.”