Paul Ryan On Trump Firing Comey: ‘I’m Focusing On What’s In My Control’

UNITED STATES - APRIL 26: Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., conducts a news conference after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on April 26, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQPHO

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Friday declined to comment directly on President Donald Trump’s sudden decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey, saying he couldn’t account for the flurry of activity coming out of the White House.

“I’m focusing on what’s in my control, and that is what is Congress doing to solve people’s problems,” Ryan said at an event in Delavan, Wisconsin, according to CNN.

“I’m going leave it to the President to talk about and defend his tweets,” Ryan said, pledging to focus on health care and tax reform.

Trump unleashed a torrent of tweets Friday morning railing against reported ties between Russia and Trump campaign associates, the “Fake Media,” and Comey himself. He issued a veiled threat against the former FBI director, saying that if Comey has any intention of speaking to the press, he’d “better hope” that there are no recordings of their private conversations.

As he has since early in the 2016 campaign, Ryan said it was up to Trump to account for his controversial tweets.

“I’m working on making sure that we make good on our promises and fix people’s problems,” Ryan said, according to CNN. “That’s what’s in my control, and that’s what I’m focused on.”

Still, the House Speaker joined GOP leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in saying it was Trump’s prerogative to dismiss Comey.

“He lost the confidence of the president,” Ryan told Fox News on Wednesday. “It is entirely within the president’s role and authority to relieve him and that’s what he did.”

Comey’s dismissal alarmed lawmakers investigating Russia’s interference in the presidential election, including some senior Republicans like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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