President Donald Trump lavished praise Thursday on House Speaker Paul Ryan while mocking pundits who said the Wisconsin Republican “doesn’t have it.”
“I want to thank Paul Ryan,” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden after the House passage of the American Health Care Act. “He has worked so hard.”
He then recounted a conversation he had with Ryan.
“You know Paul, for the last week, I’ve been hearing, ‘Paul Ryan doesn’t have it. It’s not working with Paul Ryan. He’s going to get rid of Paul Ryan.’ Then today I heard, ‘Paul Ryan’s a genius.'”
Ryan, laughing, responded, “I’ll take whatever.”
The House speaker then delivered some remarks, thanking Trump for his “leadership” on healthcare.
“This is the fourth presidency I’ve served with,” he said. “I’ve never, ever, seen any kind of an engagement like this.”
He added that the House passage of the AHCA, by a slim 217-to-213 margin, was “just one step in this process” to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Trump’s relationship with Ryan has been fraught at various points both during the campaign and during Trump’s time as president.
The American Health Care Act now moves on to the Senate, which is certain to make changes to the bill. Senate Republicans signalled shortly after the AHCA’s passage in the House that they would essentially scrap the bill and draft new legislation from scratch.
Watch Trump’s comments:
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