House

Ryan calls for a ‘cleanse’ of the FBI

Greg Nash

Speaker Paul Ryan (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.

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Ryan reportedly made the remarks at a largely off-the-record session with anchors and reporters ahead of President Trump’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 Mueller’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 Rosenstein 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.

Tags Donald Trump FBI Paul Ryan Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein

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