Culture

Paul Ryan Says Congress Won’t Investigate Trump’s Sexual Misconduct Allegations Because ‘Those Are Criminal Matters’

In the wake of Paul Ryan’s victory at the Senate passing the most sweeping tax overhaul in decades just after midnight on Tuesday night, Savannah Guthrie spoke with the Speaker of the House for NBC News. Although Guthrie’s line of questioning centered mostly on tax reform, at the end of her conversation with Ryan she took the opportunity to grill him about the sexual misconduct allegations lobbed against Donald Trump.

My question to you is about the president,” she said, after noting the current sexual misconduct reckoning taking place. “President Trump has been accused as well. Three of those accusers recently asked for a congressional investigation. They want you. They want Congress to look into whether those accusations against the president are true. Would you support such an investigation?”

Ryan deflected the question by deferring to the House Oversight Committee chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy. “Well as you know, the person in charge of that committee Trey Gowdy has given a very articulate response, which is that those are criminal matters. Congress doesn’t do criminal investigations,” he said.

“I would invite you to talk to the White House,” he continued, as Guthrie interrupted. “You do ethics investigations?” Paul then switched gears and to accuse the president’s critics of trying to turn the issue into “some partisan thing.”

“We need to make sure this moment is the cultural changing moment it needs to be, and that means not only do we have to change our laws, not only do we have to change the way disclosure and transparency works, not only to we have to change the way the laws work going forward, but we need to change the culture,” he said.

“So let’s not make this some partisan food fight, let’s see this issue, let’s give it the respect it deserves so we can change this culture so we’re not having this story a year from now.”

Guthrie tried again before letting him off the hook. “Before I let you go, the White House position on the president’s accusers is that they are all liars,” she continued. “Is that your position as well?”

Ryan once again dodged Guthrie’s question. “Look, I don’t even know what all of these allegations are, I’m focused on fixing Congress. I’m focused on my job, where I work, making this institution safe. I want my daughter to be able to grow up in an economy, to go into a work, public or private sector, where she’s not being harassed, where she’s being empowered,” he stated.

Well, great job on that so far, anyway.

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