Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told Fox Business Network on Wednesday evening that he and other conservative members of the House are enraged by Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) decision to break with President Trump’s “spygate” conspiracy and said frustrations are starting to “bubble to the top” about Ryan’s tenure as speaker.
“There is no defense today for Paul Ryan siding with the FBI and Department of Justice against those of us in the Congress who are working for transparency and accountability,” he told Fox Business. “Instead of our speaker standing with us and putting the focus on the FBI’s refusal to turn over documents so we can perform our oversight duties, instead he was defending the FBI, and that’s deeply frustrating for me and we need a speaker to be an institutionalist for the Congress, not to be a defender of the deep state.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Ryan said he thought the FBI acted correctly and saw “no evidence” to support Trump’s claims that an informant, who was deployed to meet with his campaign officials to probe their contacts with Russians, was a “spy” sent by the Obama administration to infiltrate his campaign. Trump has seized on the reports of the informant as evidence of his belief in a “deep state” within the FBI that’s biased against him, a theory fueled by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and other conservatives like Gaetz.
“Today for the first time I was hearing colleagues saying, you know, ‘If Speaker Ryan won’t stand with us in this fight over the essentials of our democracy, not weaponizing an intelligence community about a presidential campaign, you know, do we need to look at other choices?’” he said. “So, you know, I think that remains a lingering question and you’re starting to see more frustrations bubble to the top because we need that leadership.”