Paul Ryan on Trump and Comey: 'I'm focusing on what's in my control'

Story highlights

  • Earlier this week, Ryan called former FBI Director James Comey a "worthwhile and dedicated public servant"
  • Some Republicans have criticized Trump's firing of the FBI director

Washington (CNN)House Speaker Paul Ryan deflected the question Friday when asked about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and President Donald Trump's related tweets this week.

"I'm focusing on what's in my control, and that is what is Congress doing to solve people's problems," the Wisconsin Republican told reporters at an event in Delavan, Wisconsin.
Ryan's comment came after a reporter asked his views on Trump's tweets, in which the President suggested there might be recorded conversations between the fired FBI director and himself.
"I'm going leave it to the President to talk about and defend his tweets," Ryan said, emphasizing that he is working on other issues that matter to his constituents, such as health care and tax reform.
"Those are the things that I got elected to do," Ryan said. "Those are the things that are within our purview in Congress. So I'm working on making sure that we make good on our promises and fix people's problems. That's what's in my control, and that's what I'm focused on."
Earlier this week, Ryan told Fox News that he believes Comey is "a worthwhile and dedicated public servant."
However, like Vice President Mike Pence and adviser Kellyanne Conway, Ryan said Comey "lost the confidence of a lot of Republicans and a lot of Democrats based upon his conduct."
Not all GOP lawmakers agree.
Top Republicans, including Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, expressed concern over the sudden firing of Comey, who was leading the bureau's investigation into allegations of Trump campaign ties to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
But Ryan reiterated his belief that "the President was well within his rights" to let Comey go. He told reporters that despite the firing, investigations into Russia's tampering in the 2016 Election are continuing.
"We've got three investigations on all things Russia right now: a House investigation, a Senate investigation, and, yes, still an ongoing professional FBI investigation," Ryan said. "Those investigations aren't going to change."
Politicians from both sides of the aisle have been calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor to take over the Russia investigation, however, a call that has increased since Comey's firing. But sources familiar with his thinking have told CNN that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein doesn't see a need at this point for a special prosecutor in the probe.