Despite their seemingly amicable relationship since Donald Trump took office, House Speaker Paul Ryan abandoned his party’s nominee weeks before the election.
Speaking to House Republicans on October 10, 2016, just days after the Access Hollywood tape with audio of Trump making comments of alleged sexual assault, Ryan refused to defend the then-Republican nominee, according to audio of the conference call leaked to Breitbart.
“His comments are not anywhere in keeping with our party’s principles and values,” Ryan says in the leaked audio. “There are basically two things I want to make clear as your speaker: I am not going to defend Donald Trump — not now, not in the future.”
Ryan adds that over the next 30 days, he will not campaign with Trump as he prepared to face Hillary Clinton in the general election. Instead of campaigning for Trump, Ryan said he would be campaigning for House Republicans and keep the party in the strongest position possible if Trump and vice president Mike Pence cannot secure the presidency.
Before wrapping up the call, Ryan went on a lengthy anti-Hillary Clinton diatribe, blasting the Democratic nominee for president of the United States
“But the last thing I want to do is to have Hillary Clinton get the presidency and get congress,” Ryan said. “Look, she’s a failed progressive, she’s running an abysmal campaign, I mean…it’s amazing how easily she can be beaten.
“She will take this country in the wrong direction and the last thing we need is four more years of Obama policies, or, two years of a Clinton presidency with a Democrat congress. Can you imagine what that would look like? So the last thing we want to be doing is giving Hillary Clinton a blank check in congress.”
The day after this conference call, Trump went on a lengthy Twitter tirade, blasting Ryan for being a “weak and ineffective leader.” Trump added that House Republicans “went wild” over Ryan’s disloyalty towards the party and Trump.
Then, the following day, Trump once again addressed Ryan at a rally in Florida.
“Already, the Republican nominee has a massive, massive disadvantage. Especially when you have the leaders not put their weight behind the leader,” Trump said as he blasted the party and Ryan for not rallying around him following his second presidential debate against Clinton. “Wouldn’t you think Paul Ryan would call and say ‘Good going!’
“There’s a whole deal going on. We’re going to figure it out, I always figure things out [but] there’s a whole sinister deal going on.”
Trump did figure it out and went on to win the presidency and become the 45th president of the United States. Now, Trump is working with Ryan and the party to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
Last week, House Republicans unveiled two bills known as the American Healthcare Act, the party’s answer to ObamaCare. Thus far, the AHCA has been poorly received, labeled by several conservatives and liberals as “dead on arrival.” Breitbart’s report adds that there seems to be an underlying tension between Trump and Ryan, and their shaky past has been brought up at meetings regarding the AHCA.
“The President gave Ryan a chance,” a source close to the president told Breitbart. “If he doesn’t get his act together soon, the President will have no choice but to step in and fix this on his own. He’s the best negotiator on the planet, and if this were his bill not Ryan’s it would not be this much of a mess.”
As Ryan tries to pass his healthcare bill and complete the goal of repealing Obamacare, an open and amicable relationship with the president will be crucial.
[Featured Image by Zach Gibson/Getty Images]