The Republican Party is officially throwing its support behind Donald Trump’s attacks on the FBI. The president has been ramping up his efforts to undermine the law enforcement agency in recent weeks as a means of delegitimizing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump Team and Russia. They’re the actions of a desperate, cornered man and now the GOP is throwing their lot in with him.
Previously, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Yesterday, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe announced he would be stepping down early. While the White House denied any involvement in the ousting, their long history of lying as well as reports that Trump had grown frustrated with McCabe recently cast doubt on the administration’s official story.
Today, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) called for a “cleanse” of the FBI, in rhetoric that is disturbingly reminiscent of Josef Stalin’s infamous purges. Fox News reports that he made the comments while justifying the release of the already-infamous Nunes memo. The memo, which is a brief summary of classified information alleging FBI surveillance abuses, is rank partisan hackery.
The Republicans have voted to release it 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. The memo will be released if Trump agrees to sign off on it.
“Let it all out, get it all out there. Cleanse the organization. I think we should disclose all this stuff. It’s the best disinfectant. Accountability, transparency — for the sake of the reputation of our institutions,” said Ryan at a breakfast with news anchors and reporters.
Earlier 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