House Speaker Paul Ryan’s endorsement of Donald Trump doesn’t mean the House speaker will be in constant agreement with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, he said Friday during an interview with WISN radio host Vicki McKenna.
While explaining his endorsement of the businessman, Ryan called Trump out for a recent comment to The Wall Street Journal.
Trump said in a Thursday interview that US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the civil cases against Trump University because Curiel was “of Mexican heritage,” as Trump put it, and belonged to a Latino lawyers association.
He added that Curiel’s ethnic background was relevant because of his campaign promises to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and deport immigrants living in the country illegally.
“I’m building a wall,” Trump told the Journal. “It’s an inherent conflict of interest.”
Ryan said Friday that he “completely” disagrees with that logic.
“Look, the comment about the judge the other day just was out of left field for my mind,” Ryan told McKenna. “It’s reasoning I don’t relate to, I completely disagree with the thinking behind that.”
“He clearly says things I do not agree with, and I’ve had to speak up from time to time when that happens,” Ryan said, adding that he will continue to do so if necessary.
Ryan reiterated that he endorsed Trump because he believes the real-estate magnate will help to advance Ryan’s conservative policy agenda, which he is set to begin unveiling next week. He also said Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees played a big factor in his decision.
“At the end of the day, it is clear to me that we have somebody who is a willing partner in advancing these things,” he said. “Hillary Clinton will go in the opposite direction.”
The saga surrounding whether Ryan would endorse Trump began nearly a month ago, when he told CNN’s Jake Tapper he was not yet ready to endorse after Trump cleared the field following a big win in the Indiana primary. He announced his support for Trump in an op-ed published in his hometown Wisconsin newspaper, The Gazette, on Thursday.
“We’re different people,” Ryan said. “We have a different tone, a different style, that’s very clear. But what matters to me is the agenda we’re going to be producing. Are we more likely to get those ideas into law with Donald Trump than Clinton? … The answer is yes.”
But McKenna brought up the fact that many conservatives feel disenfranchised by Trump because of prior statements he made. She considered Trump’s comment that he might still add potential Supreme Court nominees to his list of justices as an example of something he could have made a more careful statement about. Ryan agreed.
“I think we’re getting used to that,” he said.
McKenna added that Trump’s supposed carelessness “is the problem a lot of people have.”
“I know,” Ryan responded.
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