Ryan says Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be allowed to proceed with his investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.
Ryan, who appeared Sunday on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” was asked if he was concerned the president would fire Mueller, a former FBI director.
“I really don’t think that’s in the president’s interest whatsoever,” Ryan responded on the show, produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
“I know Bob Mueller. I think Bob Mueller is as straight an arrow as you can shoot. I think he should be left to do his investigation,” Ryan said.
Senate and House intelligence committees also are probing Russian interference in the 2016 election. Gousha asked Ryan if there was any urgency to those investigations.
“There are interviews going on right now,” Ryan said.
“I meet with the investigators every couple of weeks. They are interviewing people while we speak. Some of the interviews take time, some have already been done. So that investigation is ongoing right now. Part of the problem, and one of the reasons it takes so long, is we’re trying to find out what the Russians did. You don’t really have a lot of compliance on that side of the world,” Ryan said.
The speaker also discussed Republicans’ efforts to pass their own health care reform plan, and their goal of reforming the federal tax code.
Ryan said the Senate could vote soon on health care reform. After what Ryan called a bumpy start, the speaker eventually pushed a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act through the House, but the Senate has not yet voted on its own bill.
“I’m hoping the Senate will get this done,” Ryan said.
Ryan said he doesn’t think the president really believes that the GOP bill is “mean,” as Trump said. Ryan also said the president has been helpful and engaged in the effort “in that he’s been trying to get members of Congress to ‘yes.'”
“The kind of engagement he’s had on this issue has been more than I’ve seen any president engage on any issue,” Ryan said.
Ryan was more optimistic that Republicans would pass tax reform, and that a cleaner, simpler system would be in place next year.
“We know we have to do this,” Ryan said.
“As Republicans, our DNA is wired pretty much the same on this. There are not near the kinds of differences of opinion on this issue like there are on other prominent issues,” he said.
Ryan also discussed his decision not to hold public, in-person town hall meetings in his district. His Democratic opponents, especially iron worker Randy Bryce, have criticized Ryan for it.
Ryan said there are security issues and concerns about the level of civility in the discussion in the larger town hall format.
“It’s very clear to us that activists from outside of the district want to bus people in to disrupt our town hall meetings,” he said.
Ryan said it’s hard to have a “civil, calm conversation” over people who want to “scream and shout and create chaos.”
Instead, Ryan has been opting for telephone town halls, smaller gatherings at businesses and meeting with constituents in office hours.
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