Ryan: “Exploiting the work of our intelligence community for partisan purposes does a grave disservice to those professionals and potentially jeopardizes our national security,”
Speaker Paul Ryan backs an investigation into possible Russian influence on the U.S. election, his spokesman said Monday, as the Wisconsin Republican continued to focus on the integrity of the vote.
The Hill reports,
“[E]xploiting the work of our intelligence community for partisan purposes does a grave disservice to those professionals and potentially jeopardizes our national security,” wrote Ryan in his first wide-release statement since The Washington Post reported on Friday that the CIA determined Russia’s goal in releasing emails hacked from Democrats was to hand the election to Trump.
“As we work to protect our democracy from foreign influence, we should not cast doubt on the clear and decisive outcome of this election,” Ryan said.
A representative for Ryan expressed a similar sentiment in an email to The Hill over the weekend, also saying the Speaker “rejects any politicization of intelligence matters.”
Ryan’s statement did not directly address an investigation. Instead, he expressed support for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and the work of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which Nunes chairs. Ryan’s spokesman, Brendan Buck, was asked on Twitter whether that means Ryan will support formal hearings on Russia.
“[Y]es, goodness, but also that this work has already been taking place. Folks should stop acting like HPSCI has ignored this,” replied Buck.
Since the Post report, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has called for an investigation into Russian hacking.
In the upper chamber, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.) said Monday investigations will be held by the Senate Intelligence Committee, despite demands by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others to launch a special panel.
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