- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 1, 2018

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Thursday rejected Democratic calls to remove House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes from his post, dismissing them as “political games” meant to distract the public.

“I think they’re just playing politics and I think they’re looking for a political distraction, is what I get out of that,” Mr. Ryan said at congressional Republicans’ policy retreat here.

He said the tax-cut bill is working, ISIS is “on the run,” and things are generally going well.

“I think they would love nothing more than to play politics and change the subject,” he said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer have asked Mr. Ryan to remove Mr. Nunes from his chairmanship, citing Mr. Nunes’ role in preparing a controversial memo purportedly detailing abuses of the government’s foreign surveillance powers during the 2016 campaign.

Mr. Ryan said it’s Congress’s job to conduct oversight of the executive branch, and that the memo should not be seen as a broader indictment of the U.S. Justice Department or Robert Mueller’s independent probe into connections between Russia and Mr. Trump’s campaign.

Late Wednesday, Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, also accused Mr. Nunes of making last-minute changes to the document after the committee voted to release it that could hinder the White House’s move to declassify and release all or part of it.

Mr. Ryan said the process worked as it should have, and that changes were made before the committee’s vote.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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