Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Paul Ryan on Comey memo: 'We need the facts'

Paul Ryan on Comey memo: 'We need the facts'

Putin mocked the idea that Trump went off-script to share secrets with the Russians, saying he could issue a "reprimand" to Lavrov since the minister hadn't passed on the information.

A few GOP members were willing to pretzel-twist themselves into a defense of Trump, but some were more circumspect with their desire to see a fact-finding process play out. White House officials insisted Tuesday that Trump had made no request to end the investigation.

White House officials denounced the allegation, insisting no intelligence sources and methods were discussed - but they didn't deny that classified information was shared.

The day after Donald Trump fired his national security advisor, Michael Flynn, he reportedly had a private chat with then-FBI Director James Comey.

- House Speaker Paul Ryan declared Wednesday that he retains confidence in President Donald Trump and cautioned against "rushing to judgment" over the cascading revelations coming out of the White House.

Mr Trump has been accused of acting unwisely and jeopardising long-standing intelligence-sharing agreements by sharing information without consulting the ally that provided it.

"This is the only thing I can think of when I hear allegations saying that the president has revealed some secrets to [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov", Putin said Wednesday, two days after allegations that Trump shared classified information with Lavrov and another Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak, during a meeting last week in the Oval Office.

"I wanted to share with Russian Federation (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts terrorism and airline flight safety", Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is ready to provide records of the recent meeting between U.S. leader Donald Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, to dispel the "political schizophrenia" around the allegations that state secrets were leaked, RT reports.

Ryan declined to wade into whether Trump obstructed justice - a crime under U.S. law.?

The requests came in letters to acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe and White House Counsel Donald McGahn. "There is plenty of oversight that is being done".

Many Republicans agree that they should take a wait-and-see approach.

Such specifics in the memos were reported Tuesday, May 17, by the New York Times. "The Russians were begging us for years to do that", a former official told Politico last week.

The "nothing to see here" mentality that has dominated congressional Republicans' approach to President Trump's growing pile of scandals finally cracked Tuesday night. His first stop on his five-nation tour will be on Friday in Saudi Arabia.

A Republican lawmaker has acknowledged the "i-word": impeachment.

"The story that came out tonight as reported is false", McMaster told reporters at the White House Monday.

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