Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) makes a decision every day when he rolls out of bed in the morning. He can choose to finally put his country above his party, denounce Trump, and marshall his not insignificant influence to push back against the president’s constant attacks on our democratic institutions or he can…just not.
Day after day he chooses the latter option. Ryan holds his nose and shields his vile leader so that he can push to have more of his regressive Ayn Randian legislation rubberstamped by Trump. The Speaker refuses to stand up for the FBI as the president’s attempts to undermine and delegitimize the historic law enforcement agency escalate.
One can’t help but speculate that there could also be some worse, more cynical explanation for Ryan’s behavior. The GOP, under his stewardship, refuses to take action against Russia despite their unprecedented attempts to illegally influence our 2016 election. Might it turn out that not only Trump but numerous high-ranking Republicans also colluded with Russia or sold their soul to Putin for something else in return? Only time, and Robert Mueller will tell.
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Meanwhile, Ryan and the rest of the Republican Party continue to close ranks around Trump. The Nunes memo, which is a brief summary of classified information alleging FBI surveillance abuses, is rank partisan hackery.
The Republicans have voted to release the memo but not the underlying information so that the American public will get a skewed, decontextualized account of events. They also voted to block the release of a Democrat memo which argues against some of the information and interpretations in the biased Nunes memo. It’s a blatant attempt to hurt the FBI to protect Trump, who has been waging a personal propaganda campaign against the agency for quite some time on Twitter.
Today, Ryan was asked what excuse the Republicans have for rushing to release the Nunes memo without allowing the release of the Democratic rebuttal. Per usual, Ryan responded in craven, self-righteous fashion. He was visibly flustered during his response.
He offered the tepid explanation that he intends to “go through the process as the process is laid out,” which is just a way of saying the GOP will do whatever it feels like. He added that it was “ironic” that Republicans voted to release the Nunes memo and Democrats voted not to. It is not, in fact, ironic nor is it excusable. Ryan and his ilk are politicizing the intelligence community and classified information for personal gain.
Aaron Rupar of ThinkProgress shared the video of Ryan:
Ryan dismisses reporter who tried to ask him a reasonable question about how Republicans are handling the Nunes memo, then reveals he doesn't know what irony is pic.twitter.com/7QbXbEq8V1
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 30, 2018