Paul Ryan contradicts Trump's claim that FBI planted a 'spy'

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Ryan said Gowdy's "initial assessment is accurate" and he's seen no evidence to the contrary. Likewise, White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation has thus far failed to find any evidence of collusion, a year after it began.

After the "Morning Joe" host praised Ryan for backing the "rule of law", MSNBC analyst John Heilemann poured cold water on Scarborough's celebration of the house speaker, saying: "Guys, I just want to - can I just - let's not give Paul Ryan too much credit", noting that Ryan seemed to just be echoing Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani's point that he shouldn't pardon himself because it would be bad politically. Ryan and Gowdy attended the first briefing with Nunes and Schiff.

On Tuesday, the Senate's Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, also discouraged talk of a self-pardon by Trump.

The comments come after Trump insisted in a series of angry tweets last month that the agency planted a spy "to help Crooked Hillary win", referring to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Before the House took last week off, members of the Intelligence Committee received a classified briefing on the ongoing Russian Federation investigation.

Gaetz went on to explain why he believed the foundations of the investigation into the Trump campaign were faulty.

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"I don't know the technical answer to that question", he said when asked at a Capitol Hill press conference about Trump's and his lawyer's assertions about absolute executive power. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., also said he has seen no evidence of that.

"This is Russian Federation and what they did and making sure they don't do it again and about us, Congress, the elected representative branch of government, conducting very legitimate oversight over the appointed executive branch of government, and we expect them to comply with all of our oversight requests because that is how good government works", he added.

President Trump had seized on the disclosure of the use of an informant to claim, without evidence, that federal law enforcement officials had improperly placed a spy in his campaign. "If we got all the information we were looking for, we could wrap this up faster".

A January memo from Trump's legal team to Mueller asserted that a president has full power over Justice Department investigations and therefore can not be charged with obstruction of justice. "You know what I'm saying?"

Trump recently said he has the "absolute right" to pardon himself if it were necessary - which Trump says it won't be, because "I have done nothing wrong".