House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) downplayed former FBI Director James Comey's testimony that President Donald Trump asked for his loyalty, among other allegations, during a press conference Thursday morning, arguing that Trump's questionable actions are because he doesn't know what he's doing.
“The president's new at this, he's new to government, and so he probably wasn't steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI, and White Houses,” Ryan said.
The speaker added that while he did read Comey's released opening testimony Wednesday night, he would not be watching the Senate Intelligence hearing Thursday morning.
“I think people now realize why the president is so frustrated,” Ryan said regarding “what he got out of” Comey's opening testimony, where he stated that he informed the president he was not under personal investigation by the FBI.
Comey made several allegations during the hearing Thursday morning that Trump was “defaming” him and that he kept detailed notes regarding their meetings because he was “honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature” of their conversations.
Ryan was not willing to comment on Comey's claims of the president's dishonesty.
“I think there's going to be a he-said, he-said thing on this,” Ryan told reporters.
Ryan added that the president's “frustration” also stemmed from reporters focusing their questions on the Russia probe and not about current legislation in Congress.
“These are the questions that are being asked while there's a lot of work to be done,” Ryan said, “and that's what we're focused on.”