Ryan: Trump 'Made the Right Decision to Ask for (Flynn's) Resignation'

By Susan Jones | February 14, 2017 | 10:54am EST
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - "National security is perhaps the most important function or responsibility a president has," House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told a news conference on Tuesday morning. "And I think the president made the right decision" to ask for Gen. Michael Flynn's resignation as national security adviser, he added.

"You cannot have the national security adviser misleading the vice president and others," Ryan said.

Flynn resigned Monday night, saying he "inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador."

Ryan said he would not "prejudge" any of the circumstances surrounding Flynn's ouster, until more information becomes available: "I think the administration will explain the circumstances that led to this," Ryan said. (President Trump reportedly planned to comment on Flynn's resignation some time on Tuesday.)

Ryan also noted that the House intelligence committee "has been looking into this thing all along" -- that is, Russia's involvement in the U.S. presidential election.

 On the topic of Russia in general, Ryan said, "I've always been a Russia skeptic and hawk."

He noted that previous administrations also have tried to improve relations with Russia. "It's reasonable and rational" for new administrations to try to improve relations with Russia, "but I'll leave it up to the (Trump) administration to describe the circumstances surrounding what brought it to this point," Ryan said.

On another topic, Ryan said he doesn't believe any classified information was discussed during President Trump's dinner with the Japanese prime minister in a public restaurant at Mar-a-Lago: "And talking about foreign policy at the dinner table is perfectly appropriate," he said.

Ryan called the news conference to discuss the Republicans "step-by-step" approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare.

"I fully recognize and respect the strong feelings that people have about this issue," he said. "That is why we are taking a step-by-step approach, so people can see the changes that we are making, so that they can see how they will help."

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