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GOP House Members Split on Trump's Russia Claims

08 June 2018

During a press conference on Republicans' ongoing immigration debate, House Speaker Paul Ryan briefly mentioned the Trump-Russia probe, insisting that there is no evidence of collusion.

The move comes as Republican congressional leaders are publicly disputing Trump's claims that the government planted a spy in his 2016 campaign "to help Crooked Hillary win" - a reference to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. But three top Republicans who attended classified briefings on the subject last month, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have said there was no evidence of a political spy.

"Chairman Gowdy's initial assessment is accurate", Ryan said.

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Asked whether Trump can legally pardon himself, Ryan told reporters at the U.S. Capitol: "I don't know the technical answer to that question but obviously he shouldn't. I'll leave it at that".

Ryan said earlier that he agreed with GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy's assessment that there was no evidence to support the commander-in-chief's "SPYGATE" claims. "Speaker Ryan needs to step up, he needs to join us in a call for a second special counsel, and for goodness sakes, stop defending the FBI's collection of intelligence on the Trump campaign when they refuse to give us the documents to show whether or not they broke the law". Branding the effort "spygate" on Twitter, Trump said it was "starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in USA history".

It is not the first time that Ryan has asserted there was no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russian Federation. "The sooner the Department of Justice complies with all of our document requests, which are legitimate document requests, the better this is going to be for everybody".

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"Instead of our speaker standing with us and putting the focus on the FBI's refusal to turn over documents so that we can perform our oversight duties. he was defending the FBI", Gaetz, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said Wednesday on Fox Business.

Democrats have charged that the GOP's complaints with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department are all part of an orchestrated campaign to help the White House discredit the origins of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe of alleged links between Trump and Kremlin officials. We still have some unanswered questions ... "But I want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get final answers to these questions". Nevertheless, Ryan made clear that he doesn't believe Trump should pardon himself.

Still, Ryan said Wednesday that there is "more digging to do".

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GOP House Members Split on Trump's Russia Claims