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House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters during a press briefing on Thursday that President Donald Trump is “learning as he goes” in reference to FBI protocols. Ryan went on to defend Trump by stating he was “new at government.”
Ryan’s comments came during the same morning as former FBI Director James Comey‘s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
While the internet seemed to be buzzing Comey news, it seemed like Ryan didn’t get the memo. “We thought there was nothing going on around here, so we’d mix things up a little bit,” he deadpanned.
Ryan, who was not set to speak about the testimony topic, touched on the president’s frustration at Comey toward the end of his weekly news conference.
“I think people now realize why the president is so frustrated.” Ryan said. “When the FBI tells him on three different occasions he’s not under investigation, yet the speculations swirl around the political system that he is… that’s frustrating.”
Ryan went on to defend Trump by saying he probably wasn’t steeped on conversation protocols and relationships between the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and White House. This input came after Ryan revealed Wednesday on MSNBC that it was “obviously” not appropriate for Trump to ask Comey for loyalty.
Although Ryan spoke more about legislation than Comey’s testimony, his press brief seemed to also focus on redeeming his MSNBC interview by defending Trump’s actions due to him being new to government.
At the end of the conference Ryan was asked whether Trump’s behavior could be excused due to his lack of experience.
“I’m not saying it’s an acceptable excuse,” he said. “It’s just my observation.”
Vanna Vasquez is a former intern at the Daily Dot whose work focused on viral news, politics, and YouTube. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she has also published bylines with BuzzFeed.