Paul Ryan: Gowdy’s statement contradicting Trump on spying claims is ‘accurate’
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday pushed back against President Trump’s “spygate” claims, siding with Rep. Trey Gowdy’s (R-S.C.) defense of the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s campaign and Russia.
“Chairman Gowdy’s initial assessment is accurate, but we have more digging to do,” Ryan told reporters during his weekly news conference.
While both Ryan and Gowdy received a closed-door briefing on the bureau’s use of an informant in the investigation, there is still an outstanding request to view the underlying documents to support the briefing.
“We have some more documents to review. We still have some unanswered questions… If we got all the information we were looking for, we could wrap this up faster,” Ryan said.
“I have seen no evidence to the contrary of the initial assessment Chairman Gowdy has made. But I want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get final answers to these questions.”
A week after the closed-door briefing, Gowdy told CBS News that he had seen no evidence to support Trump’s claims that a “spy” was improperly inserted into his 2016 campaign.
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, who is retiring, said he did not believe the FBI had done anything out of bounds in its investigation, and defended the use of informants by the bureau and other law enforcement agencies.
“That is not a term I’ve ever used in the criminal justice system,” Gowdy said.
“I’ve never heard the term ‘spy’ used. Undercover informant, confidential informant, those are all words I’m familiar with. I’ve never heard the term ‘spy’ used,” he added.
Trump and a number of House conservatives, however, have seized on revelations that the FBI used a confidential informant in its investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia, alleging that a “spy” was improperly planted into the campaign.