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Fractious House panel at centre of latest Trump probes

20 Mai 2017

Ryan said Wednesday he told congressional Republicans to spend time gathering all the facts on the questions surrounding President Trump, and warned against jumping to conclusions based on news reports.

"We can't deal with speculation and innuendo and there's clearly a lot of politics that's being played".

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the second most powerful elected official in the United States government, says he is not anxious about the White House spinning out of control, the President revealing "code word" highly classified intelligence and attempting to obstruct a federal investigation by the FBI.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the ongoing scandal around President Donald Trump sharing classified intelligence with Russian officials as "political schizophrenia".

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He backed House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz's request to see the apparent February memo where Comey made these claims, along with other documents. The Wisconsin Republican says Congress will want to know if Trump asked Comey to end the probe, "why didn't he take action at the time". "The point is this", the speaker said when asked about the controversy at a press conference on the Hill Wednesday morning.

The House speaker said he still has confidence in Trump.

The highly classified information about an Islamic State plot was collected by Israel, a crucial source of intelligence and close partner in the fight against some of the America's fiercest threats in the Middle East. Trump's disclosure of the information threatened to fray that partnership and piled pressure on the White House to explain the apparently on-the-spot decision to reveal the information to Russian diplomats in the Oval Office. Putin even suggested that Russian Federation share the records of last week's talks between Trump and Lavrov with the U.S. Congress, if the White House approved. Mr Flynn had been ousted from his White House role the day before for misrepresenting his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Defending Trump's actions, officials played down the importance and secrecy of the information, which had been supplied by Israel under an intelligence-sharing agreement, and Trump himself said he had "an absolute right" as president to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russian Federation.

Fractious House panel at centre of latest Trump probes