Ryan: Special counsel Mueller 'anything but' a biased partisan

Story highlights

  • House Speaker Paul Ryan defended special counsel Robert Mueller on Monday
  • Ryan said Mueller "is a Republican who was appointed by a Republican"

(CNN)House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday defended special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election amid allegations by President Donald Trump that the investigation is a "witch hunt."

Asked why Republicans aren't defending the President, Ryan stressed that Mueller, a former FBI director under the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, is "anything but" a biased partisan.
"Remember, Bob Mueller is a Republican who was appointed by a Republican, who served in the Republican administration and crossed over, I mean, and stayed on until his term ended. But -- I don't think many people are saying Bob Mueller is a person who is a biased partisan. He's really sort of anything but," the speaker said during a radio appearance on "The Jay Weber Show."
    "The point is, we have an investigation in the House, an investigation in the Senate, and a special counsel who sort of depoliticizes this stuff and gets it out of the political sphere, and that is, I think, better, to get this off to the side, I think the facts will vindicate themselves and then let's just go do our job," Ryan said.
    The President tweeted as recently as Sunday that his fellow Republicans were not doing enough to "protect" him as the probe into Russian interference continues.
    "As the phony Russian Witch Hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold, Democrats and Russians!" he tweeted, then adding, "It's very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President."
    White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci suggested that Trump does not yet accept the conclusion of the intelligence community and questioned the media's pursuit of the story, saying it tarnished Trump's victory in November.
    "The mainstream media position on this, that they interfered in the election," Scaramucci said during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union." "It actually in his mind, what are you guys suggesting? You're going to de-legitimize his victory?"
    Ryan also voiced frustration with news coverage of the Russia probe.
    "The frustrating thing for House members is, it's Russia this, it's Russia that, it's tweet this, tweet that, it's wall-to-wall coverage and countdown clocks of what I would call distracting issues and not the issues we're actually focused and working on," he said.