Tags: Russia Probe | tom rooney | lee zeldin | disagree | trump | spy | claims

GOP Reps. Rooney, Zeldin Split on Trump's Russia Claims

GOP Reps. Rooney, Zeldin Split on Trump's Russia Claims
President Donald Trump (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 June 2018 08:29 PM

Two House Republicans differed Wednesday on President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claim that an FBI informant infiltrated his presidential campaign.

House Intelligence Committee member Tom Rooney of Florida slammed Trump's assertions, while New York Rep. Lee Zeldin said the president was not misleading on his "spy" allegations.

Rooney, who is retiring at the end of the year after three terms, was among three Intelligence members to lead the panel's probe after Chairman Devin Nunes of California stepped aside.

"What is the point of saying that there was a spy in the campaign when there was none?" Rooney asked Politico in an interview as he ripped the president's claims. "You know what I’m saying?

"It's like, 'Let's create this thing to tweet about knowing that it’s not true,'" he posed. "Maybe it’s just to create more chaos but it doesn’t really help the case."

Rooney said he agreed with House Speaker Paul Ryan's support of House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy's assessment that the FBI acted properly in the investigation.

Gowdy, of South Carolina, was among nine legislators briefed by the Justice Department and FBI on the probe last month.

Rooney was not in on the session.

"Look, if you want to disagree with what we were briefed on and say that it was a spy? That’s fine, I guess," he Politico. "We would just disagree with that.

"And if that makes us RINOs because we have a different opinion about what the FBI was doing, then I guess we’re RINOs," Rooney said.

However, Zeldin, who neither sits on the Intelligence Committee nor was briefed last month, disagreed.

"I do believe that the president, when he says that his campaign was being spied on — his definition, his use of the word — is being consistent, not misleading," Zeldin told Erin Burnett on CNN.

Zeldin, who is in his second term, noted that Speaker Ryan said that Congress needed to see all the documents on the Russia inquiry to get a complete idea of what occurred within the Trump campaign.

"I would encourage my colleagues before concluding as to what these documents say to read the documents first," he told Burnett.

"I'd like to read them — and whatever is releasable, I'd love for the American public to read them and for all of us to be able to form our own independent judgments rather than taking everybody else's word for it."

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Two House Republicans differed Wednesday on President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claim that an FBI informant infiltrated his presidential campaign.
tom rooney, lee zeldin, disagree, trump, spy, claims
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2018-29-06
Wednesday, 06 June 2018 08:29 PM
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