The ongoing controversy about the so-called “Spygate”—a conspiracy theory promoted by Donald Trump that alleges that the FBI was “spying” on him during the presidential campaign—has done something that hasn’t happened very often since Trump’s inauguration: pushed House Speaker Paul Ryan into whimpering some words of disagreement with the president.
On Wednesday, Ryan responded to comments made by fellow House Republican Trey Gowdy. “I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got,” Gowdy said on Fox News last week. “And that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.”
According to CBS, Ryan echoed that sentiment, albeit in his typically sniveling way:
Ryan, R-Wisc., told reporters on Wednesday that he thinks Gowdy’s “initial assessment is accurate,” and he has seen “no evidence to the contrary” of what Gowdy said. Still, Ryan said he thinks there’s “more digging to do.”
“We have some more documents to review, we still have some unanswered questions,” Ryan said.
Ryan also joined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in issuing a careful warning about Trump’s recent assertion that he has the authority to pardon himself. Trump said he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself if it were necessary — which Trump says it won’t be, because “I have done nothing wrong.”
“I don’t know the technical answer to that question, but I think obviously the answer is he shouldn’t and no one is above the law,” Ryan said.
Wow. A real profile in courage.
Ryan and Gowdy aren’t the only ones who are growing tired of having to answer for Trump’s antics. On Wednesday, Politico reported that Rep. Tom Rooney, a Republican from Florida who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, had “ripped” Trump’s claim.
“What is the point of saying that there was a spy in the campaign when there was none?” Rooney told Politico. “You know what I’m saying? It’s like, ‘Lets create this thing to tweet about knowing that it’s not true.’ … Maybe it’s just to create more chaos but it doesn’t really help the case.”
Rooney even went so far as to preemptively respond to the inevitable outrage from Trump lifers. “Look, if you want to disagree with what we were briefed on and say that it was a spy? That’s fine, I guess. We would just disagree with that,” Rooney added in the same interview. “And if that makes us RINOs because we have a different opinion about what the FBI was doing, then I guess we’re RINOs.” Tom Rooney, welcome to the resistance.
If you’re temped to give Republicans credit for finally thinking Trump has gone just a bit too far (by attacking the beautiful and precious FBI, no less), don’t. It is June 6, 2018. There is no way that anyone had an epiphany today, last week, or last month that—after a lifetime of knowing that Donald Trump exists—helped them finally realize he’s completely and irrevocably full of shit.
Coincidentally, all three of these guys—Ryan, Rooney, and Gowdy—are retiring. So, at least they’re finally doing something useful.