After President-elect Donald Trump equated alleged leaks from the intelligence community with Nazi Germany, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Trump will “learn to appreciate” the work the intelligence community does, but defended Trump for being “frustrated.”
“Obviously those are not words I would use. But he is understandably very frustrated at what’s happening because it isn’t fair and it’s all unsubstantiated, so his frustration is completely understandable,” Ryan said at his weekly press conference Thursday.
Trump’s Nazi Germany reference came in a tweet after a CNN report that the intel chiefs had briefed Trump on a set of claims that Russia had damaging information on him — in the form of a unsubstantiated dossier that was later published in full by BuzzFeed — but he has long been critical of the intelligence community for its conclusion that Russia sought to interfere with the presidential campaign.
Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Wednesday evening, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, released a statement expressing his concerns that the dossier had been leaked, while adding that he did not believe the leaks from U.S. intelligence community. His statement more or less confirmed the CNN report that the claims had been presented to policy makers.
Trump noted on Twitter that Clapper had reached out to him.
James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated. Made up, phony facts.Too bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2017
“I think as he gets to know our intelligence community better he’ll learn to appreciate all the great work that they do,” Ryan said Thursday, before elaborating on the interactions he’s had with the intel community as part of becoming Speaker.
“ He is just beginning that process,” Ryan said.