Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Monday that it isn’t congressional Republicans’ role to defend President Trump from the investigations into Russian election interference and pushed back against the notion that special counsel Robert Mueller is biased against the president.
The comments from Ryan came a day after Trump tweeted that “it’s very sad that Republicans…do very little to protect their president.” Trump’s top aide Kellyanne Conway also attacked Mueller Sunday and described his legal team as a “band of Democratic donors.” Mueller has brought seven attorneys onto his legal team that have donated a combined $60,787 to federal Democratic donors, a practice Trump has dubbed “ridiculous.”
Ryan was asked on local Wisconsin radio Monday morning about why Republicans aren’t doing more to protect President Trump from Mueller’s investigation and those being conducted by Congressional committees. The radio host Jay Weber mentioned the Democratic donors hired, and in his response Ryan said, “Bob Mueller is a Republican who was appointed by a Republican.”
The House Speaker added, “I don’t think many people are saying that Mueller is a biased partisan…he really is anything but.” While the president has called Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt,” Ryan said a special counsel “depoliticizes this stuff,” and “gets it out of the political theater.”
As for defending Trump from the investigations, he said congressional Republicans are “not spending all of our time on this. Because that’s not what we were elected to do, we were elected to solve people’s problems and focus on their issues and that’s what we’re focused on.”
This story has been updated.