Tags: Paul Ryan | Flynn | Resignation

Paul Ryan: Flynn Was Doing What He Was 'Supposed to Be Doing'

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 09:50 AM

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was right to speak with other governments, including the Russian ambassador, during President Donald Trump's transition period, but there were grounds for his dismissal based on his not being candid or honest with his superiors, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday.

"If that person has lost the trust of the president, the president should ask for his resignation, and I think that was the right thing to do," Ryan told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

"With respect to Michael Flynn talking to other governments in the transition, that's what he is supposed to be doing, and it's the job description for incoming national security advisers to talk to other nations and talk to ambassadors and start beginning relationships, and that's very much appropriate."

Meanwhile, he said the House Intelligence Committee has already investigating the connections between Russia and the 2016 elections and will continue to do that.

"They are the ones that have access to classified information, and they have access to our intelligence community," said Ryan. "Remember, the intelligence community from the Obama administration did a community-wide search of all the evidence, and they packaged it up in a document and briefed us in Congress and sent it to us a little over a month ago, and we will keep looking at this.

"There's no secret here, Russia tried to meddle with the elections, and this is why I am in favor of the sanctions, and their interests don't go with our interests."

However, nobody has yet "made the claim that evidence exists that Donald Trump or his people were in on it, were involved in that," Ryan said.

Ryan noted he did send a letter with other members of Congress to state leaders to make sure they were guarding against hacks and that their voting machines were secure, "because we had credible intelligence this is happening, and this is not a surprise to everybody."

He does not believe the United States can trust either Russia or President Vladimir Putin, but he does think it "would be nice" if Russia's interests would align with those of the United States. However, he doesn't think that will happen.

"I was frustrated the Obama administration took so long to put sanctions in place, and if the sanctions were watered down," said Ryan.

Ryan does think it's naive to believe the United States can change Russia, and he said he thinks it's also naive for Trump to believe that.

"I think [former President Barack] Obama was wrong to do the reset and give away the defense," said Ryan.

"I don't buy that we can change these people. I just don't . . . I come at this from a hawk's point of view, but it's an entirely reasonable and rational school of thought to think we can get them to be more cooperative, but I don't think it's going to happen."

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Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was right to speak with other governments, including the Russian ambassador, during President Donald Trump's transition period, but there were grounds for his dismissal based on his not being candid or honest with his...
Paul Ryan, Flynn, Resignation
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2017-50-15
Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 09:50 AM
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