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Politics

Paul Ryan says he wants to 'get the facts' on Comey memo, which 'takes some time'

House Speaker Paul Ryan aimed to keep the focus on policy Wednesday amid the latest explosive allegation against President Donald Trump.

In a news conference, Ryan and GOP leaders deflected attention from reports that former FBI Director James Comey says President Donald Trump asked him to back off the investigation into ex-national security advisor Michael Flynn. They discussed the prospects for tax reform as Republicans control Congress and the White House, calling it a "once in a generation" opportunity to overhaul the U.S. tax code.

Asked about the Tuesday reports about Comey, Ryan repeatedly said that Congress will continue to gather facts and keep at its existing investigations while going about its regular policy business. Congress is probing alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including any possible ties between Trump campaign associates and the Kremlin.

"We can't deal with speculation and innuendo and there's clearly a lot of politics that's being played. Our job is to get the facts," he said.

The House speaker said he still has confidence in Trump. He also said he wants to know why Comey did not bring up the allegation when it first took place.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R.-Utah, demanded Tuesday that the FBI turn over records related to Trump's conversations with Comey, saying the reports "raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede the FBI's investigation."

Ryan said that the Oversight Committee "appropriately requested" the memo.

He added that seeking out facts "obviously takes some time" and said the House is not "trying to play to the crowd or meet timelines."

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