In an appearance on a CNN town hall special, Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is a staunch critic of President Trump, asserted that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) should “be more aggressive” about speaking out in the wake of allegations that President Trump divulged classified information to Russian officials.
“I hope — I saw that Speaker Ryan said some things tonight about getting to the bottom line. Frankly, I think he should be more aggressive,” Kasich said. “I think he should speak out more, and hopefully he will.”
The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump revealed highly classified information during an Oval Office meeting last week with two Russian officials. Although the president is authorized to declassify information at his discretion, Trump’s decision has raised questions about whether he damaged the U.S.’s relationship with the source of the information, which was later reported by the New York Times to be Israel.
Following the Post report, a July 2016 tweet from Ryan has been recirculating in which he said that those who are “careless” with classified information should be denied access to such intelligence.
“Individuals who are ‘extremely careless’ with classified information should be denied further access to such info,” Ryan wrote in the tweet, which was posted in response to then-FBI Director James Comey’s statement regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information.
Ryan’s spokesman, Doug Andres, said Monday that the Speaker wanted clarification regarding what the president disclosed during the meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“We have no way to know what was said, but protecting our nation’s secrets is paramount. The speaker hopes for a full explanation of the facts from the administration,” Andres said.
Kasich noted that he did not want to make a snap judgment, yet added that, if the report is true, Trump is “in bigger trouble than losing his security clearance.”
“I’m not jumping the gun, any more than if somebody accuses you of something, I’m going to assume that what they said is true,” Kasich said.
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