Ryan calls for a 'cleanse' of the FBI

Ryan calls for a 'cleanse' of the FBI
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Flynn awaits sentencing | White House signals it wants to avoid shutdown Missing: Fiscal sanity in Washington On The Money: Latest on border wall fight | Dems prep for long shutdown | Trump finds himself isolated | Stocks sink ahead of Fed meeting, funding deadline | Trump offers new round of farm aid MORE (R-Wis.) on Tuesday threw his support behind releasing a controversial memo that purports to detail FBI surveillance activity, saying it will “cleanse” the organization, Fox News reported.

“Let it all out, get it all out there. Cleanse the organization,” Ryan said, according to Fox.

“I think we should disclose all this stuff. It’s the best disinfectant. Accountability, transparency — for the sake of the reputation of our institutions,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ryan reportedly made the remarks at a largely off-the-record session with anchors and reporters ahead of President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE's State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Ryan went on the record to address the release of the House Intelligence Committee memo.

Still, the Speaker urged Republican lawmakers during a Tuesday morning meeting not to overstate the facts in the memo, and not to use the document's contents to try to undermine special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The GOP-crafted classified memo is believed to contain allegations that federal investigators abused a surveillance program to monitor the Trump campaign. Several conservative lawmakers have claimed the memo will illustrate political bias within the FBI.

The House Intelligence Committee voted Monday night along party lines to release the memo, despite concerns from Justice Department officials that doing so could endanger intelligence sources.

Ryan on Tuesday morning also defended Rod Rosenstein, saying the deputy attorney general is doing “fine job” and should not be fired.

Rod RosensteinRod Jay Rosenstein10 pieces of evidence against most diabolical Russian spy ever No glory in James Comey getting away with his abuse of FBI power Mueller’s real challenge MORE was hired after this last election. I think the people at the FBI, at the [Justice Department] need to clean their own house if there are problems in their own house,” he said.