Ryan on Mueller: Let special counsel ‘do his job’
House Speaker Paul Ryan made it clear he doesn’t agree with some who are urging President Donald Trump to fire the Justice Department’s special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
“I think the best advice is to let Robert Mueller do his job,” Ryan told reporters Tuesday after a closed-door meeting with House Republicans. He added, “I think the best vindication for the president is to let this investigation to go on independently and thoroughly. That, to me, is the smartest thing to do, the best thing to do, and that’s what I think hopefully will happen. “
Top House GOP leaders appeared frustrated at the news conference about the multiple questions about Mueller’s probe and what might happen if he were forced out of his position.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, interrupted one question directed at the speaker on the topic, saying “you’re creating a debate that’s not happening.”
Ryan echoed that sentiment, calling the reports about the president possibly moving to fire Mueller “a rumor.”
But Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax and a friend of the President who attended meetings Monday at the White House, was the one who revealed that the issue was being discussed. In an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” Ruddy said, “I think it is a consideration the President has had because Mueller is illegitimate as special counsel.”
Asked about criticisms that some of the members of Mueller’s team and his ability to conduct fair investigation, Ryan said he didn’t know the team but said, “I know Bob Mueller. I have confidence in Bob Mueller.”
The speaker listed the policy issues that congressional Republicans were focused on like a bill on the House floor this week to improve accountability for veterans’ health care, telling reporters, “We are focused on solving people’s problems.”
Multiple House Republicans said that there was no discussion about the special counsel at the weekly GOP meeting.
Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack praised Mueller and told reporters “there is a ripple effect” as stories continue to develop on the ongoing probe. He expressed concern that the public is losing trust in institutions put in place to handle the investigation.
“When the day comes that our country cannot rely on people to deliver the truth about whatever the subject is from positions of great authority and great reputations, like Mueller, and if we just dismiss those as not being able to deliver us the truth about an issue, we’ve got more problems than we think we have,” Womack said.