U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Wednesday President Donald Trump should not pardon himself, weighing in on the president’s assertion that he had “absolute” power to do so.
Asked whether Trump can legally pardon himself, Ryan told reporters at the U.S. Capitol: “I don’t know the technical answer to that question but obviously he shouldn’t. No one is above the law.”
Trump made the pardon assertion in a series of Twitter posts on Monday in which he criticized federal Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal probe of whether his 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia to sway the election.
“As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” Trump said.
In another tweet he called Mueller’s appointment “totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL.”
The comment came as Mueller’s investigation, which includes possible illegal obstruction of the Russia probe by the president, has entered its second year.
Trump has denied he colluded with the Russians or obstructed justice and repeatedly calls Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.”
Ryan, who is not seeking re-election, has avoided taking a confrontational approach with the president after having had an often-strained relationship with him.
The Senate’s Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, also discouraged talk of a self-pardon by Trump on Tuesday.
“Let me just tell you that from – from my perspective – I don’t think the president needs any advice on pardoning himself,” McConnell told reporters. “He obviously knows that would not be something that he would or should do.”
Trump falsely claims he stopped his supporters from chanting ‘Send her back!’
On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, where he singled out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), accusing her and the other Democratic congresswomen known as "the Squad" of not loving America.
In response, the crowd began to shout "Send her back!"
Trump allowed the crowd to continue the chant for a full 12 seconds before continuing his speech.
The next day, amidst criticism that he was riling up his fans to dangerous levels, Trump claimed that he had indeed shut down the chant, in direct contradiction to the video. New York Times journalist Peter Baker reported Trump's claim on Twitter.
Hope Hicks may have lied under oath that she wasn’t present when Trump and Cohen discussed Stormy Daniels
Newly unsealed documents in the campaign finance case where Michael Cohen pleaded guilty may provide evidence that Hope Hicks lied to Congress under oath.
According to the court documents, President Donald Trump, Hope Hicks and Cohen were all in communication about the hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Not only did Hicks discuss the payments with both men, she exchanged text messages and emails on the topic.
Anti-vaxxer threatened to kill Democratic congresswoman over vaccine bill: report
A Pentagon contractor has been charged with threatening to kill a U.S. Congresswoman over a bill that would require all public schools receiving federal funds to ensure all children are vaccinated.
The Daily Beast reports the court filing does not name the lawmaker, but they have determined it is Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL). It says Darryl Albert Varnum of Westminster, Maryland is the person named in the criminal complaint filed in federal court.