Paul Ryan labels either President Trump or Bob Corker a troll in security-clearance flap

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, in his weekly press conference Tuesday on Capitol Hill, essentially laughed off President Donald Trump’s threat to revoke security clearances of former national-security officials.

That’s Ryan’s response, with a slight chuckle, to a reporter who asked about Bob Corker’s “banana republic” comments in reference to Trump’s threats.

It was unclear whether Ryan was talking about Corker or Trump with the “trolling” comment, though it was widely reported to be in reference to the president:

Regardless, Ryan says there’s not much he could do about any such revocation of security clearances. “This is something that’s in the purview of the executive branch,” he said.

Trump, according to press secretary Sarah Sanders, is considering stripping six former officials who served under Obama of their clearances over their public commentary, often regarding the Russia probe.

“They’ve politicized, and in some cases, monetized their public service,” Sanders said during Monday’s press conference. “Making baseless accusations of an improper relationship with Russia is inappropriate.”

The list of former officials on Trump’s list includes former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former national-security adviser Susan Rice, former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden.

Also in the above clip, Ryan reiterated his stance that tariffs aren’t the answer, after Trump tweeted that tariffs are “the greatest!”

“I don’t support tariffs,” Ryan said. “I think tariffs are taxes. I think there are better tools that we can use … to get [global trade partners] to play fairly.”

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